The Kano State edition of a national sensitisation and capacity-building training programme for media professionals on the Nigerian Tax Ecosystem organised by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in partnership with Afropolitan Media Limited took place on Thursday 6 April, 2023.
The workshop, held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Press Centre at the Farm Centre Area of the commercial city of Kano, had in attendance a full house of practicing journalists in Kano cutting across legacy and new media spectrum, led by the Chairman, NUJ Kano Council, Malam Abbas Ibrahim
The FIRS and Afropolitan Media Limited conceived the workshop in order to update the media on new developments in the Nigerian Tax System since the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, took charge of the Service in December, 2019 following his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari in that year, so that the media can inform the nation, especially the taxpaying public, from a deeper position of knowledge of tax administration for overall nation-building purposes.
The workshop was also designed to sensitise the media on new challenges posed by fresh developments to tax organisations in the country and worldwide, and how the Nami reforms at the FIRS have surmounted these fresh hurdles to the benefit of taxpayers in Nigeria and the nation.
The topic for the Kano workshop, “Understanding the Rudiments and Importance of Taxation in Nigeria” was presented in over two sessions of three modules by Dr. Zaharaddeen Salisu Maigoshi, of the Department of Accounting, Bayero, University, Kano and Fellow, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
Dr. Maigoshi took the topic “General Overview of the Nigerian Tax Ecosystem” in the morning session, followed by a robust interactive session between the resource person and the journalists-participant who asked him several incisive questions based on the first module, their experiences as both taxpayers and as journalists whom the public interrogates on tax matters such as multiple taxation and how the three tiers of government spend tax revenue.
Following a short tea break, Dr. Maigoshi delivered two more modules – “FIRS: Roles, Responsibilities and Administration” and “Reforms and Innovations in the FIRS: TaxPromax, Finance Acts, SENTINAL” – in the afternoon session. Like in the morning session, an extensive question-and-answer session followed these modules, engendering a robust debate and exchange of ideas between the resource person and the participating media professionals.
Earlier in opening her remarks, Chief Executive Officer, Afropolitan Media Limited, Hajiya Aisha Umar Halilu, welcomed the journalists to the workshop and underscored the importance of the FIRS and her firm partnership engaging them through the event, stressing that as the eyes and ears of the people, the Nami administration believes that the media is indispensable to the national tax education or mobilisation efforts of the Service.
Hajiya Halilu urged the participants to deploy the new knowledge and fresh insights the workshop has equipped them with in their reports of the Nigerian Tax System as currently driven by cutting-edge reforms being implemented by the Nami leadership of the FIRS and the Board of the Service.
She added that that the doors of tax authorities like the FIRS were always opened, hence the media should endeavor to seek clarification from the FIRS in grey areas before filing their reports.
Mala Ibrahim thanked the FIRS and Afropolitan Media Limited for bringing the workshop to Kano, stating that the FIRS had hitherto appeared to b e a far-away cult organization, which journalists could not readily approach, a notion which the workshop has now dispelled as the FIRS has shown itself an open, near and willing partner to journalists.
Participants pledged to work closer with the FIRS to enlighten the public on the need to pay tax promptly for national development.
Prior to this Kano leg, the FIRS/Afropolitan Media Limited capacity-building workshop for media practitioners has been held in Mararaba, Nasarawa State and Kaduna, Kaduna State on Wednesday 29, March, 2023 and on Tuesday, 4 April, 2023, respectively.