BY MIKE ODIONG
It was a day of celebration as the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) recently ushered in Dame Gladys Olajumoke Moyosore Ayinke Simplice as its 14th president.
The palatial event, held at the Lagoon Restaurant in Lagos, attracted the creme de la creme of the society, such as the Lagos state governor, Mr. Jide Sanwo-Olu, ably represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry of finance, Mrs. Balogun,
Others include the chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Babatunde Fowler, His Royal Majesty, The Oba of Ojomu, Oba Tijani Akinloye, the doyen of Taxation in Nigeria, Mr. David Olorunleke, chairman, Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) Mr. Ayodele Subair, and the outgoing president, Dr. Cyril Nwobodo Ede amongst others.
Mr. Babatunde Fowler in his keynote address thanked the institute for a great job so far and its collaborative efforts with the federal government in making sure that awareness is being created for citizens to pay their tax as at when due.
He congratulated the new president and commended her stellar achievements over the years as a staff of the FIRS and now the president of CITN.
In her acceptance speech, Dame Gladys sang praises to God and thanked her mother who was present at the occasion and would be turning 100 years old this year.
She relived her years of growing up and attending St. Gregory’s college and how she was determined to succeed no matter the odds.
According to her, the expected end as a member of the institute, for her, is this moment, at this point in time and place as the 14th president of the institute.
“ As I stand before you all to acknowledge the awesomeness of God, with complete humility and a heartfelt gratitude to God and our founding members, past and current council members, all members of our Great Institute, including well-wishers and stakeholders, I promise on my honor to take this mandate and trust given to me very seriously,” she said.
Dame Gladys joined the services of the Federal Inland Revenue department (FIRD) in 1982. She was co-opted into the activities of the institute by the doyen of taxation, Chief David Olorunleke.
According to her, the new administration will take corporate governance serious with the view to widening the existing horizon.
She said “A tax academy will be developed to project the fundamental driving force of the institute’s vision. A permanent site has been acquired in Ilorin for the project. Stakeholders will be engaged to strengthen capacity building programs such as a mandatory professional training, International academic tax conference, seminars and specialized training for organizations. The institute has signed MOUs with professional bodies like ANAN, ACCA and some tertiary institutions.”
The governor of Lagos State Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by the honorable Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Balogun, congratulated the new president and the institute as a whole.
She said the role of the institute is to raise , maintain and implement tax awareness. She promised that the Lagos state government will continue to partner with the institute to achieve its desired goals.
Goodwill messages poured in from all the districts, organizations, international partners and family members.
The representative of the Ghana Institute of taxation paid glowing tribute to the new president, as well as professional bodies like the ANAN, ACCA, all district societies, fellows and the FIRS.