The fall of the price of crude oil at the international market, has made every oil producing nation of the world begin to look inward on how to generate more revenue and provide an enabling environment for brands to succeed – Nigeria is not an exception. GODWIN ANYEBE writes
Brand building in the marketing communication space may take time, but is critical to products’ success. In other words, building a reputable brand has been the major driver for success in the competitive market place. Developing strong brands has been used as an effective defensive mechanism against competition by many business organisations.
While previous researchers have focused primarily on defining and measuring the concept of brand equity and, to a lesser extent, understanding its causes and effects, there is a broad-based agreement that one of the major contributors to brand equity is tax payment compliance, and must be adhered to strictly.
It is against this backdrop, that analysts believe that the only way and manner the equity of a brand can grow is when the government of a state provides an enabling environment for business to succeed, and this can only be achieved when there is total compliance to tax payment from both the formal and informal sectors. To this end, the larger society on the other hand must learn how to demand for accountability of their tax payment.
Speaking on how tax compliance can boost brand equity recently in Lagos, a tax specialist, Mr. Taiwo Oyedele said; “First, we have to start with tax awareness, people need to know their tax obligations, and more importantly, government have to put tax payers money into work. So that when people begin to see social services such as good roads, electricity, water, security, healthcare centre, schools, among others, people will feel more obliged to pay. Nobody would want to pay tax and use his or her money to fix road, and provide security, it is not encouraging. That is the major missing link; we need to make sure that tax payers’ money is put to work for them. When this is done, there will be a serene environment to do business and brand equity will grow there after”.
Reacting to how it could affect Nigerians with a different political party at the centre, known for its emphasis on taxation in some of the states under the party’s control before now. His words; “It is not a matter of political party, whoever is at the centre has to focus on tax, the fact is for the government to have money, you can’t run a government without money. it is also worthy of note that, there is no tax that is introduced by a government other than what was already in the law, so what they are doing is telling people what is in the law, how to practice it. For instance, personal income tax has been in law, and the Lagos state government said let everybody pay, even if you are in the informal sector we must learn how to pay. Therefore, it is not the question of PDP or APC at the centre; it is just that Nigerians must do the right thing.”
The event on how to encourage tax compliance to help businesses grow in Nigeria was sponsored by Coca-Cola. And while commenting on the rationale behind Coca-Cola throwing its weight behind such initiative, the Managing Director of Coca-Cola, AdeolaAdetunji disclosed that; “We throw our weight behind so many initiatives, the important thing is leadership. For me the definition of leadership is the process of taking an organisation or a country from where they are, to where they are supposed to be progressively.
“And that is why as Coca-Cola we throw our weight behind several initiatives, as long as those initiatives will help to move communities, organisations from where they are to where they should be.”
Responding to the aggressive plan of the incoming government on tax compliance, the consul general of South Africa high commission in Lagos State, Ambassador MokgethiMonalisa, said that any government that want to succeed must make emphasis on tax compliance and Clearly the incoming government is on the right track by saying it will pay attention to taxation as sensible form of revenue generation for the country.
His words; “We are coming out of an era of relying on oil revenue which we know is fast disappearing. They said that you can only master an art when you practice it regularly, and we certainly not have become used to regular tax payment, and the whole taxation system itself is not one that has been geared toward a reasonable level of tax revenue for the government and for the people, and I think right now we are talking about twenty per cent of GDP which I think is extremely low.
“One thing is clear, the government has to focus on it, and people need to be educated a lot on the need for paying taxes. There is a repercussion to that, the more taxes people pay, the more is their expectation from government and hopefully that will help to minimize the excesses of the government. So also, it make the government to provide a watch dog goal whereby people who are paying taxes will continue to demand for dividend of democracy.
“We must begin to look at technology as far as taxation is concerned, we must begin to enhance our legal system whereby people can be prosecuted if they are not paying taxes, and we must learn not to have any preferential treatment for people who are liable for tax payment. People must also learn to appreciate the fact that, it is their responsibility to pay taxes In order to make the society a better place.”