Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
The Onitsha and District Society of Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has been inaugurated as the 37th district society in the country, with the investiture of Chief Kevin Obieri as pioneer chairman.
The event, which attracted members from within and outside the state, held at Sharon House, Onitsha, Anambra State. It was chaired by the former president of Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ONICCIMA), managing director of Tiger Foods Limited, Onitsha, Chief Donatus Ebubogu.
Also in attendance were the traditional ruler of Akwu-Akokwu, Igwe Charles Ejezie, traditional ruler of Umuezeogo Akokwu, Igwe Charles Biere, traditional ruler of Ufuma, Igwe Chika Ucheime, and chairman of Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, Dr. David Nzekwu.
While inaugurating the body, president of CITN, Dame Gladys Simplice, said the society had over 22,000 members across Nigeria. She said the Onitsha district met all the requirements, with total commitment, and had become the 37th district society in the country.
She urged the new district to work hard to lift society, even as she called on them to collaborate with the state government, other branches and professionals in discharging their duties professionally.
“You should assist the national body in promoting the institute’s programmes and activities such as conferences and organising programmes on the importance of paying taxes. I want to assure you that the institute will support you in carrying out your duties and I call on the chambers of commerce and the government to support the new district society,” she said.
Chairman on the occasion, Ebubogu, called on government to ensure that it puts the people’s taxes to good use. He said inasmuch as the people in society were ready to pay their taxes, government should also put the money into things that would positively affect and lift the common man.
He appealed that government should ensure that as Nigerians embraced the new tax policy, the money should be applied wisely to the provision of adequate social amenities and infrastructural development.
In his welcome address earlier, the secretary of the Onitsha District, Mr. Sylvanus Izebhokhae, said the idea of forming a district came into fruition on October 15, 2019, when the first meeting was held at the instance of Chief Obieri, with over 60 members in attendance.
“The idea of having a district of CITN is long overdue. Our members from Onitsha and environs go to Awka and Asaba to attend mandatory professional training programmes and for other issues that relate to the institute. We mooted the idea of this district to Mrs. Juliet C. Uwejeren and she thought it was an idea whose time had come.
“She accompanied us to meet with the national president, Dame Simplice. She gave all the necessary support. The president also called the registrar/CE and gave us his contact for further discussions that resulted in sending the list of CITN members resident in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi to us. The rest is now history,” he said.
In his acceptance speech, Obiere thanked the institute for reposing confidence in him to pilot the affairs of the institute in Onitsha and promised never to disappoint the institute in discharging his duties.
“Today, we begin a new journey that will revolutionise the attitude of taxpayers in our city to their civic responsibility and awaken the tax practitioners and administrators to the responsibility of better service delivery, constant enlightenment on tax matters as well as proper and constant engagement with the government on its social pact with the citizenry and the need to fulfil their part of the pact to promote a better society.
“On behalf of the members of the executive committee, I hereby willingly and wholeheartedly accept this very important call to service as chairman of CITN Onitsha and District Society. I want to declare my willingness and readiness to take up this service trust with all equanimity. I promise to bring my experience and expertise to bear on the task at hand. Along with members of the executive committee, with whom I am honoured to work, we would be able to chart the path for posterity for this new society” Obiere said.