By Tunde Osho
The Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers (NCRIB) has declared support for the Federal Government’s Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS), saying no nation that could attain economic buoyancy without exploring taxation as a key revenue option of government.
The President of NCRIB, Mr. Shola Tinubu at the NCRIB quarterly press briefing said most modern economies are buoyed on effective taxation and ours cannot be an exception.
According to Tinubu, “However, it would be apposite to stress that it behoves on government to live more to its fiscal responsibility when adequate compliance is received from the people and institutions. When the confidence level is enhanced, payment of taxes would no longer be seen as a burden but a cardinal responsibility to be discharged by the citizenry.
In a bid to provide tax defaulters an opportunity to defray all unsettled tax liabilities, the Federal Government in Nigeria approved the VAIDS. Under the scheme, tax defaulters are required to voluntarily disclose any previously undisclosed asset and income relating to the preceding six (6) years of assessment within a nine (9) month period from July 1, 2017. The objectives of the scheme include encouraging full tax compliance, discharge of outstanding tax liabilities as well prevent tax evasion. While it increases government revenue, the tax payer also benefits from it vide workable tax payment plans, and immunity from prosecution for tax offences and tax audit.
Giving account of his tenure, Tinubu said the council he heads has continued to match our words with appropriate actions. “Without trying to rehash what I said at the last meeting, I am glad to inform you that significant progress is now being made in the areas of strong institution building for the Council. This policy direction has now positioned the Executive Secretary as the Executive Head of Secretariat and the face of the Council before the general public and strategic stakeholders. All other office holders, including myself are now “visitors” who come to the Secretariat when the need arises.
According to the NCRIB chief the Executive Secretary and his team have continued to measure up to expectations in terms of speed of delivery and efficiency. The result of this is that the Council is now getting more respect in the comity of professions that does it right. To give visual effect to this direction, you would notice a change in the venue of this meeting from the former place which is now been fully occupied by the Executive Secretary. The tenure is definitely unrelenting in making the Secretariat more functional and economical to run as we shall soon embark on some structural remodeling as approved by the Governing Board.
Explaining NCRIB’s Strategic Outreach to Critical Stakeholders, he said based on an unprecedented in-road that the Council made into the high profile National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, the Council has been given another opportunity to deliver a talk at the Institute shortly and this would give more lift to our corporate image by enhancing the relevance of the profession.
Similarly, I am most delighted that the Secretariat Management, led by the Executive Secretary have paid visits to the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), as well as the Nigerian- German Chamber of Commerce in order to explore areas of mutual relationships between the institutions for the benefit of members.
He added: It is heartening that the Council is at the verge of concluding arrangement to register all its interested members into the prestigious Nigerian German Business Association and the LCCI. As I speak, overtures are being made to strategic institutions by the Council to propagate insurance broking. Shortly, our team would be visiting the high echelon of the Nigeria Police to leverage on the training avenues for insurance awareness. The same strategy is being contemplated for sister institutions.
Tinubu said “Definitely, the corporate image projection has remained a priority under this administration through the sustenance of the Corporate Visibility Project. There has been sustenance of the various media engagements and publicity initiatives by the Council under the current regime. Among other is this media conference which we have vowed to sustain with unwavering commitment. The airing of radio programmes featuring members on Radio Nigeria has continued while jingles across the major geographical zones of Nigeria, with the support of the Area Committees and institutional adverts in newspapers are running.
The NCRIB boss also touched on issues of anti-money laundering compliance. “It will be recalled that one of the cardinal focus of this administration is self-regulation. This is the reason why we coined the “Self Regulation for Self Respect slogan which will continue to be our guide. In our bid to give necessary impetus, the Council has published nuggets on compliance issues for members. We shall sustain these publications to add value to members and simplify their operations.