The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria has rewarded students who performed well in its quiz competition as part of efforts to drive tax culture in the youths and boost government revenue.
The CITN gave different prizes to secondary school students who were outstanding at the grand finale of Lagos State all secondary schools tax quiz competition programme, which was sponsored by a member of the institute, Pro Ezekiel Williams, in Lagos.
The winner of the quiz won N300,000 and a full scholarship for the first year in the university.
The first and second runners-up also got N200,000 and N100,000 respectively.
Other consolation prizes were given to other top participants.
The President, CITN, Chief Adesina Adedayo, said, “We actually created this programme in order to ensure that the issue of taxation is brought to the level of the classroom, and in order to make this happen, we have decided that we are not waiting till they get to tertiary levels, we should start dealing with it at secondary level.
“When it is clear that the knowledge of taxation, the laws, the administration and the policy framework are understood by students at this basic level, it is clear that we are winning the fight against ignorance.”
To reduce tax ignorance, he said the CITN had organised similar programme in some other states.
Speaking on his reason for sponsoring the event, Williams said, “We have been having the dearth of knowledge in taxation. If you ask an average adult in Nigerian that what is the meaning of tax, most of them cannot even give you a definition.
We want to catch them young so that at this level of their age, they will understand what the issue of taxation.”
According to him, if Nigeria could develop its tax revenue, it would have no need to continue to borrow money to fund its budget.
The Chairman, Students Affairs and Tertiary Education Relations Committee, Dr Titilayo Fowokan, said the CITN had the support of Lagos State to organise the quiz, and that about 60 schools and 700 students participated.
She said, “We know that taxation is something that even some adults don’t want to hear about, but we believe that we should inculcate in our young ones the taxpaying culture, learning about taxation and also letting them understand that tax is a lucrative business.
“So we want to start catching them from secondary school, create the interest in taxation in them to let them know it can be taken as a career of choice.”