As OCCIMA holds a one day tax appeal tribunal stakeholders forum
By Saby Onyenwe, Owerri
Everest Okpara, President of the leader of the organized private sector (OPS), the Owerri Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (OCCIMA), has as a matter of importance, advised entrepreneurs and other business owners in Imo State to ensure that their taxes are paid promptly.
He decried the rate of tax evassion by business owners, saying it had the tendency to put any business owner on collision course with the Federal Inland Revenue Services or any other tax agency.
The OCCIMA boss spoke at a one day Tax Appeal Tribunal Stakeholders’ Forum which was organized for OCCIMA members at their new office, FSP Park, Wethral Road, Owerri.
Speaking, Okpara said the workshop was not only to educate them on what to do but to show how to curtail the rate of tax evasion, ensure fairness and transparency of tax system, and to minimise the delays and bottlenecks being experienced in adjudication of tax matters.
The workshop, he stated, would not only widen their scope on tax payment but would improve the tax payers’ confidence in the Nigerian tax system and provide opportunity for expertise in tax dispute resolution.
Okpara disclosed that the workshop became the first to be held in the State at OCCIMA level and it would further create an avenue for effective involvement of both the tax payers and the collectors. It would also go a long way to promoting early and speedy determination of matters without compromising the principle of fairness and equity.
The OCCIMA boss advised that every entrepreneur, business man or woman should keep accurate records or books of accounts in order to know how much of the tax to pay, saying “paying taxes is a responsibility for every business man'”.
In his remarks, John Udeagbala, the immediate passed president of Southeast Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (SECCIMA), while commending the President of OCCIMA for organising the one day Tax Appeal Tribunal forum, said , “It is the responsibility of OCCIMA to interface in order to disseminate information to the organised private sector.”
Udeagbala who described OCCIMA as an. advocate of the organised private sector noted thus; “OCCIMA does not shy away from criticizing government’s bad polices and commending the good ones.” He urged all business owners to become OCCIMA registered members.
He said; “If you want to be an exporter, you cannot do it without OCCIMA giving you a Certificate of Origin, if you are in Owerri, because it is the only paper you require to export your goods”.