By; PETER NOSAKHARE, Kaduna
Nigerians have been advised to look at the issue of restructuring from the economic importance of the federating units by tax generated at all levels of governance, local, states and federal levels.
This advise was given by the Head of Accounts, New Nigerian Development Company, (NNDC), Mr. Friday Ameh Agbo at a paper presentation, “An Alternative Model on Restructuring: Taxation a Tool for Financial Diversity and Good Governance, held at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Secretariat, Kaduna.
According to him, the local government which is the bedrock of skills, technology and wealth should focus more on making its tax system and generation more effective because it’s what it brings that the state government adds value, brings quality, intellectual capacity and formulates ideas that will improve on what the local government has.
He explained that with this, the federal government invests on the state governments to take goods for international standard.
” Restructuring must include reviewing the economic policies of our country because there’s no way one can separate economy from government. Ineffective and multitasking system in Nigeria breeds corruption.”
Mr. Agbo wants the local government areas involved in the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT), by ensuring that revenue collected are paid to banks that have branches in their areas using a code that will reflect the local government areas the branches are located.
He suggested a tax regime for the three arms of government advising that VAT Input be pegged at zero per cent which is paid at production stage be charged at zero per cent, while VAT Output paid after production be between 0.02 to 0.05 per cent to allow for proper pricing and should be attributed to the local government areas.
“There must be a revenue chart which allows 43 per cent VAT and other revenue collected in a local government be given to that local government, 33 per cent of VAT and other revenue collected by local governments should be given to the state government, 23 per cent of VAT and other revenue collected by each local government allocated to the federal government and one percent of VAT and other revenue collected by each local government allocated to the Central Bank of Nigeria.”
The accountant stressed that lack of ethical standards and performance measurement mechanism in the public sector makes it difficult to objectively weigh the actions of public officers and hold officers responsible for their actions and inactions.
“It’s the inability of the Nigerian government to utilize her potentials that has put the country in abject poverty,” he concluded.
Former Dean, Students Affairs, Mr. Audu Abdul in his contribution, believes Nigerians should restructure themselves before talking about the entire nation.
“The country before 1966 coup had a regional system (3 regions). The military using Prof. Ben Nwanbeze to propagate a decree that brought the country to the unitary system that joined us and brought us to where we are now. Which system will best suit us now,” he queried.
Also speaking at the occasion, Mr. Karamudeen Adigun, while saying the country wasn’t ripe for restructuring suggested that the leaders and people shouting for restructuring should point out areas that should be restructured that is if they even know its meaning.
“Nigerians don’t even know its meaning and yet clamour for it. Politicians in this country have no conscience. Therefore, if you fear God stay out of politics,” he advised.