By Fatima Muraina
The federal government has deployed 42 graduates as first batch to drive the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) in Ondo state.
The Acting Chairman of Ondo State Board of Internal Revenue (BIR), Mr. Bunmi Alade made this known at the weekend during a tax awareness programme organised for the Tax Justice Governance network and officials of BIR on VAIDS in Akure, Ondo state.
Alade said the programme is to train the BIR officials who have not undergone training on VAIDS with the partnering organisation , the Tax Justice and Governance Network,a non governmental organisation for them to go out and tell people about the necessity of VAIDS.
According to him, as part of Federal Government’s effort to actualize its plan on VAIDS, it decided to engage graduates of social sciences to go out and sensitize people about VAIDS. 42 were deployed and they are already in the state and had undergone some trainings in Abuja”.
The graduates, Alade said are to sensitize members of the public on what is expected of them on VAIDS, capture information from people and to intelligently gather the income and Assets of people.
He tasked the stakeholders on actualizing the initiative on the scheme which he opined is a way of increasing the IGR and for the development of the state to make it an economically viable state like Lagos.
The Secretary of Tax Justice and Governance Network who is also the Executive Director of Girls to Women Research and Development Centre, Mrs. Olamide Falana charged government on the need to do its own part to ensure people feel good.
Falana who presented a paper on Tax Justice and Governance in Ondo State: Citizen Perception and Way Forward also tasked the BIR to ensure that it is transparent and friendly in it’s mode of collection.
She said a tax formular should be made known stressing on the use of technology in tax collection.
“People should have account, remittance and evidence of their remittance to the government. For everybody who pays to government either individual or association, should have individual receipt which they can show for tax clearance collection”, she said.
She urged all eligible tax payers to do so to give the present administration that benefit . ” Let us pay our tax and now begin to demand whatever we need from government. Let us begin to put it through right channel, through the letter not hanger in the officers who are there to do their work”, she expressed.
In an opening remark, a director, Mr Dayo Akinmutimi advised people on the need to declare and pay tax to avoid interest and penalty before the enforcement of the law of the government.
In a chat with The Hope, Director of Informal sector at the BIR, Mr, Olusegun Enikuomehin said the board will be partnering many other relevant agencies to meet the expected goal of VAIDS.
Enikuomehin observed that the board is looking inward to increase its IGR to a robust one like that of Lagos and to follow the best international practice in the world.