Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Reduce wastages, merge MDAs, Obasanjo tells govs

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged governors in the 36 states of the federation to reduce the cost of governance in their various domains by merging ineffective Ministries, Departments and Agencies with viable ones.
This, he said, should be part of measures to make them economically buoyant, given the current economic downturn in the country.
The former President said this on Tuesday while welcoming the Chairman, Joint Tax Board and Federal Inland Revenue Service, Dr. Babatunde Fowler, to his Hilltop Presidential residence, Abeokuta.

Fowler was accompanied by the 36 chairmen of states’ revenue boards.
Obasanjo said governors should become “slimmer” by reducing wasteful spending.
Obasanjo, who had a closed-door meeting  with the tax managers across the country, added that President Muhammadu Buhari and the governors across the country should not only reduce cost of governance, they should also show the citizenry what they had been doing with taxes and levies that citizens had been paying to governments.
He said, “When times are hard, that is when the government needs more Internally Generated Revenue, and it is also the time that those from whom the government would want to generate funds from are finding it hard to get money.
“What do we have to do? They must continue to try to increase, as much as possible, what each state can generate in terms of Internally Generated Revenue. But states must also embark on a number of things.
“One, reduce waste. Two, they have to look into becoming slimmer. Government can do a lot by looking at their own establishments by bringing together institutions that do not have to continue to exist separately.
“And, generally, they must also show that the money they generate, the tax that the citizens pay are well utilised.
“I think these are some of the things we have to do to get us out of the tight situation that we are all in, and we pray that the tax will roll in sooner than later.”
Responding to Obasanjo’s comments on reduction of government’s spending and revenue generation,  Fowler said that taxes collected should be judiciously utilised to the benefits of the people.
 He said, “One thing that he (Obasanjo) did say is that our main objective is to raise money for government. Government also has to make sure they eradicate waste.
“Again an analogy that he gave and he had said this 11 years ago in Lagos that ‘tax tradition is like what blood is to the body,’ and once we have funded that body with blood, ‘the heart pumps it and the heart is the government,’
“So, the government has to make sure it pumps it to all the sectors or areas of the body, meaning that those in charge of the government, once the revenue comes in, they should make sure the whole of Nigeria feels the impact of the expenditure.”






Punch

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