President of CITN, Mr. Adesina Adedayo (right) presenting a souvenir to the Executive Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service, AKIRS, Mr. Okon Okon, during the 2022 all secondary school tax quiz in Akwa Ibom State.

By Abasifreke Effiong, Uyo

The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, CITN, has rounded off the 2022 all secondary school tax quiz competition in Akwa Ibom State.

The tax quiz organised by CITN in collaboration with Egghead Management Consultants is part of CITN’s “catch them young” programme intended to deepen tax education, improve perception about tax and promote voluntary compliance.

Six schools took part in the final stage of the competition held at the Ibom E-Library, Uyo, and moderated by the Chairman Students Affairs and Tertiary Education Relations of CITN, Dr. Titilayo Fowokan.

MONEF High School, Uyo, represented by Miss Bennie Clinton emerged winner of the competition. The Nigerian Christian Institute, Uyo was the first runner up while Federal Government College, Ikot Ekpene came third.

Speaking at the event, the President of CITN, Mr. Adesina Adedayo, said the tax quiz which is the second in the South-South region is part of the institute’s futuristic plan on tax education and awareness creation.

“We will replicate this initiative across the country. Our future plan is to have a tax club in all secondary schools across the country.”

“This effort is intended to develop the intellectual capacity of our children on economic matters. We believe that if we must address the issue of economic development, we must invest in the future and tax is the future of every nation.”

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The President said he was impressed by the display of knowledge on taxation by the students of the State and thanked the Executive Chairman of Akwa Ibom State Internal Revenue Service, AKIRS, Mr. Okon Okon, for the support given for the successful hosting of the tax quiz.

Mr. Adedayo also thanked Mr. Okon for his outstanding support to the CITN Uyo and district, saying that the leadership of CITN decided to site its tax academy in Akwa Ibom State because of the “wonderful contributions” made by Mr. Okon.

Excited by the exceptional performance of the students, the Executive Chairman of AKIRS, Mr. Okon Okon, awarded a full university scholarship to Miss Bennie Clinton, a student of MONEF High School, Uyo, who won the 2022 all secondary school tax quiz.

“I am very excited seeing our secondary school students dig deep on tax matters. I feel it is important to encourage our young ones to take up a career in taxation. For this reason, Okon Okon Educational Foundation will give scholarship to the winner of this quiz. This is my family’s little way of giving back to humanity and promoting interest in taxation.”

The AKIRS chairman said the scholarship which is courtesy of his foundation, Mr. Okon Okon Educational Foundation, will cover a-5 year undergraduate programme at a value of N300,000 per session.

Mr. Okon who represents the Joint Tax Board in the CITN Council said there is a global movement towards tax revenue, hence the need to increase tax awareness and education, and encourage students from secondary school to take up taxation as a career.

“Taxation as a discipline must be put in a way and manner that will encourage more young people to take up a career in the field because States are relying more on taxation as a source of revenue. We practitioners must be deliberate about developing and improving interest in taxation as a profession.”

“The world is migrating from other sources of income to the first principle of public finance, which is revenue through taxation. We are taking all possible steps to ensure that Akwa Ibom State aligns with that global movement towards tax revenue”.

Mr. Okon commended the students who took part in the 2022 all secondary school tax quiz and encouraged them to consider studying taxation and related disciplines after their secondary education.

The Executive Chairman of AKIRS, Mr Okon Okon has been supporting many exceptional and or less privileged students to develop themselves through educational advancement since his days in banking sector. According to him, the grace of God lifted him up through education so he considers education a key catalyst for realisation of one’s potentials.