By Chinyere Anyanwu
The need for the proper reporting of contemporary taxation issues and use of tax terminologies in the media took the front burner at the weekend in Lagos during the second edition of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) media workshop for tax/finance reporters and correspondents.
The workshop with the theme, “Media Workshop on Basic Taxation Terminologies and Highlights of Contemporary Tax Issues & Tax Reporting: Media Perspective”, was aimed at educating and properly equipping media practitioners in their role of enlightening the public on taxation issues and communicating the institute’s activities to the populace.
Speaking on the topic, “Basic Taxation Terminologies and Highlights of Contemporary tax Issues”, Mrs. Sandra Momah, Associate Director, Transaction Tax Services, and one of the speakers, said it was necessary to “provide proper understanding of basic concepts and contemporary issues pertaining to the Nigerian tax environment” to journalists as well as “enhance tax news reports in Nigeria.”
She noted that, “tax is an important tool of the government, which serves as a source of income used to finance government expenditure, a tool to ratify impartial wealth distribution and an instrument of fiscal policy,” adding that information about it should be disseminated to the public with the right language.
Mrs. Momah, during her presentation, touched on the following issues – introduction to taxation in Nigeria, administration of taxes in Nigeria, basic taxation terminologies, contemporary tax issues in Nigeria, and common tax acronyms, among others.
In his presentation at the workshop, another speaker, Mr. Chukwuemeka Eze, a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, Nasarawa State University, who spoke on the topic, “Tax Reporting: Media Perspective”, x-rayed the media usage of certain terminologies, which do not pass the right message as far as tax issues and taxation in the country are concerned.
His major areas of concern included understanding the use of tax terminologies in communication and how to write balanced tax articles.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Publicity and Publication Committee of CITN, Mr. Kolawole Babarinde, stated that the workshop became necessary because, “it has been observed that majority of reporters that cover taxation, though brilliant, do not possess the basic knowledge of terminologies and contemporary issues in taxation required to prepare optimum reports.”
Babarinde further stated that CITN and the media have forged a strong working relationship over the years, “especially in the area of disseminating information on taxation, which has impacted positively on the Nigerian economy,” saying “as partners in progress, CITN and media practitioners are formidable stakeholders in the tax system.” He noted that the effort was to aid the media in adequately fulfilling its role in tax reporting.