Obasanjo urges merger of agen­cies to curb wastes

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Ke­hinde Akinyemi, Abeokuta

For­mer pres­i­dent, Chief Oluse­gun Obasanjo, has called for the merger of gov­ern­ment agen­cies as part of ef­forts to curb waste of scarce re­sources.

He made the call yes­ter­day in Abeokuta while ad­dress­ing mem­bers of the Joint Tax Board who paid him a cour­tesy visit at his res­i­dence.

The for­mer pres­i­dent said gov­ern­ment needed to block all forms of fi­nan­cial leak­ages due to the dwin­dling rev­enue.

He also ad­vised that the var­i­ous states should in­crease their rev­enue gen­er­at­ing drive and en­sure that tax­pay­ers’ money was utilised to pro­vide nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture for the ben­e­fit of all ci­ti­zens.

He said proper use of tax money by the gov­ern­ment would pro­pel in­creased pay­ment of taxes by ci­ti­zens.

“When times are hard, that is when gov­ern­ments need in­creased drive for in­ter­nally gen­er­ated rev­enue. They have to look into ways of be­com­ing slim­mer and also bring­ing to­gether es­tab­lish­ments or in­sti­tu­tions which can­not con­tinue to ex­ist sep­a­rately. They should also en­sure that the funds gen­er­ated from taxes are well utilised. 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. 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,” he said.

The chairman of the Joint Tax Board, Mr Ba­batunde Fowler, noted that tax earn­ings avail­able to the fed­eral gov­ern­ment had in­creased through a re­newed drive by the board. He as­sured that Nige­ri­ans would con­tinue to ben­e­fit from the laud­able projects fi­nanced through funds from taxes.

“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, should make sure the whole of Nige­ria feels the im­pact of the ex­pen­di­ture,” he said.

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