Taxation Law Practice Interview with Osiri Ndukwe

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Osiri Ndukwe, Legal Practitioner

Osiri obtained his LL.B from Abia State University (ABSU). In ABSU he served as the Student Head of the prestigious Ernest Ojukwu Law Chambers and the Deputy Student Head, ABSU Law Clinic. He was among the team that represented Nigeria in the 2012 Mosten Brown International Client Consultation Competition in Dublin, Ireland.

He was called to the Nigerian Bar in November, 2014. He worked at the law firm of Jackson, Etti & Edu and Stark Legal before proceeding for his Masters’ degree. Before then, he interned at G. Elias & Co., and Brandsmiths Financial Consulting Limited.

He has extensive interest and growing experience in taxation, energy, credit transactions and dispute resolution aspects of law.

Please note that all opinions expressed in this interview are the opinions of the individual interviewed. They do not necessarily represent the opinion of their employer or of Legally Engaged.

Public services such as provision of good roads, health care system, electricity, education, etc., are necessary for the social and economic well being of the people. Taxation is the process of providing government with regular, dependable and continuous source of revenue by transferring money from private hands into government treasury through compulsory payment.

  • Representing clients in courts on taxation matters
  • Advising clients on taxation matters
  • Interfacing between clients and government agencies
  • Writing articles on taxation for publication

Taxation is an interesting and budding area of law in Nigeria, and its smooth workability if well managed, would naturally lead to wealth redistribution and ultimately boost the economy.

 

I believe making impact in Nigeria’s taxation system would be a fast means of contributing to the development of Nigeria, which has always been my earnest desire. So, I chose taxation because I wanted to contribute to its growth and development of Nigeria ultimately.

He/she must be:

  • research-driven;
  • detail-oriented;
  • determined;
  • ready to put in long hours; and
  • proficient in communication (written and oral)

I work between 55 to 65 hours every week (exclusion of weekends). However, when there is important and urgent work, I work during the weekends, but on a flexible schedule.

Taxation is very wide area of law, but with few Nigerian law cases (that is in comparison to other pronounced areas). So, a lot of time, research and dedication are required to make a strong headway in this area.

 

Furthermore, lack of proper administration of the existing tax laws in Nigeria is a huge challenge.

Taxation is an area of law that concerns almost everybody – individuals and companies, yet there are few experts. So, it is somewhat quite rewarding financially to the few lawyers involved in it.

 

In addition, the knowledge of the Nigeria’s taxation system helps one to know his or her rights, and as they say, “no knowledge is a waste”.

To an extent, law school prepared me for this area of law. The marathon and long hours of law school schedule somehow prepared me for the long hours of work I put in now as a practicing lawyer.

 

However, courses, seminars and researches in taxation have contributed more in preparing me for this area of law.

As earlier mentioned about the budding nature of taxation law in Nigeria, most renowned tax experts usually venture into the corporate world – in-house counsel.

 

5 – 10 years from now, I see myself being recognized as a top taxation expert in the world.

During the early stages of my venture into taxation, a paper presenter in a seminar had asked if government could tax illegal income. I raised my hand to answer, and when I was given the opportunity, I remember answering vehemently in the negative, “Sir, government cannot tax any income gotten illegally. If that happens, it then means that government is encouraging corruption”. Whether it was the confidence at which I answered the question or the incorrect position I stated that triggered a subtle laughter among the panelist, I was not sure, but I was sure that I was superlatively embarrassed. Till date, I have never forgotten that experience.

I will join great men to say, “never limit yourself”. To work in taxation, one just needs to work hard and trust God.

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