The classic causality dilemma of which came to the world first between the chicken and the egg has been with us since ancient times. The question is no easier to answer today than it was at the time of the Greek philosopher Aristotle. In the lives of the ancient philosophers (as translated in 1825), François Fénelon quoted Aristotle as saying during the latter’s life time (384-322BC) that: “If there has been a first man, he must have been born without father or mother –which is repugnant to nature.
Presently, industries are challenged by changing operating environment characterised by the emergence of new competitors, diversification of demands and the rapid advance of globalisation. In this regard, firms’ innovative capabilities depend not only on firms’ internal competencies, but also on their capacity to develop organisational strategy for managing their innovation process.
A very common expression whenever tragedy, sometimes on a massive scale, has befallen Nigerian citizens is “it is a very unfortunate event”. Another common expression, perhaps to rub off on the religious sentimentality of Nigerians, is “may God grant the families the fortitude to bear the loss”. No one expresses disappointment, indignation and sadness better than the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan. He has perfected the act of looking pained, resigned and even cries when the occasion justifies it.
Sometime ago, I titled an article “Reverend Sir, the Tax man needs your tithe”. I received a few emails questioning my motives. I also received some other emails applauding me. I got an epistle from one interesting fellow who questioned the title of the article and suggested I broaden this to include Imams and herbalists. I agreed with him without arguing. Some other fellow questioned why I should advocate tax compliance at all in an environment that is so overtly corrupt where it is guaranteed that the tax would be embezzled as soon as it is paid.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) placed a paid advertisement in The Guardian of Thursday February 28, 2013 requesting payment of taxes. That regulation cited section 55 of the Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) 2004 (as amended), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria CAP C21. The section cited stipulates the time within which a company is to file its returns. This is essentially within 6 months of financial year end for an existing business.
Does a taxpayer have rights attached to the taxes he pays? If he does, how important are these rights to the tax authority? Are taxpayer’s rights (if any) subordinate or superior to the rights of the citizens and denizens of a state? Does the taxpayer have powers to decide how his money should be spent? These are questions that should frame debates on the economic and political governance of any nation on the path to development.
The measurement of productivity varies from nations, business, team and individuals. Some experts believe productivity is to measure labour input, such as the number of workers or the number of hours worked. But productivity in a simple term is output per unit of input.
In effect, productivity becomes the attainment of the highest level of performance with the lowest possible expenditure of resources. It represents the ratio of the quality and quantity of products to the resources utilised.
The Freedom House in its 2009 survey listed Nigeria as one of the 62 countries in the world that is partly free. The survey measures include political rights, economic rights and civil liberties. What is instructive is that the survey was carried out after 10 years of democracy in Nigeria and at a time we had a president whose claim to fame was his “respect for the rule of law.” Unfortunately, not much in terms of freedom has changed in Nigeria since 2009.
In "The Wealth of Nations" (1776), Adams Smith set forth four maxims, or canons, of taxation. These four maxims have been summarised in four words: Equity, Certainty, Convenience and Efficiency. When Adams Smith postulated these canons perhaps he did not envisage the complexities of business arrangements in today’s world. Otherwise he would not have added certainty and convenience to his list.
Sometime ago, I was daunted by the headlines of some newspapers that a bank has commenced winding up proceedings against a large oil marketing company in Nigeria over unpaid loans relating to certain transactions. This was not the disturbing bit of the news. Tucked in somewhere towards the end of that article was the information that the owner of the company (who is merely the majority shareholder; the owners being the investing public as this company is publicly traded) lives like a sheik, and owns several elite properties in highbrow Ikoyi, a collection of posh cars, private jets, and e