*Modernization of constitutional Revenue base for Revenue Generation, Security Management through effective Legislation
It is obvious that the 774 Local Government Councils across the states of the federation continue to find it increasingly difficult to provide adequate infrastructural development and other social amenities in their Communities because of lack of funds.
Reliance on Federal allocation which is usually erratic and unpredictable, make many councils dormant . The view by observers is that they(councils) are in that state because they fail to develop or fully explore Internal Generated Revenue Sources which can increase their financial capacity.
Stakeholders and revenue generation experts believe councils have the capacity to generate adequate Revenue to execute its programmes if they are more creative and adopt modernization in the collection of levies, tolls and rates.
This is why though lawmakers, the National councilors Forum of Nigeria adopted as its theme for its Bi annual conference held in Abuja,Modernization of constitutional Revenue base for Revenue Generation and Security Management through effective Legislation.The primary objective is to enhance revenue.
The Chairman of the Lagos State local Government Service Commission Babatunde Rotinwa who spoke at the forum, said there is a direct link between Services council provide for the community and willingness of residents to pay their rates and levies. Councils he advised, should be more pro active in ensuring funds are utilised essentially for community projects. This will motivate residents to want to fulfil their financial obligations.
Malam Abdulwakeel Ademola the Managing Director of ITEC consultancy Services believes if Councils adopt modern tools of collecting revenue, there would be an astronomical increase in IGR, plugging of revenue leakages, easy collecting and payment, reduce official and public conflict, assurance of steady and regular revenue and automatic boost of Security Management.
Areas of possible adoption of modernization he said, include Motor Parks, Personal utilities Registration Scheme and Properties wholestic Registration Scheme.
“Motor Parks are under the control of Councils. The transport union have however taken over that responsibility because of the unenthusiastic attitude of Councils toward driving revenue. The implication is that while the union makes millions, council are reduced to collecting peanuts. Legislation must there for be passed to ensure council collect money on trips not vehicles. For instance, if a passenger pays two thousand for a forty kilometer trip, Councils should ensure the transporter charges maybe two hundred naira extra per passenger. Which means each passenger will pay two thousand two hundred naira’.
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Speaking to L G News, Chairman of the National Councillor forum of Nigeria Hon Alimi Nurudeen Alowonle, says the forum will begin to embark on some of the suggestions of speakers at the conference.
“We need to continue to do more to improve the lives of those that voted us. We are obligated by constitution to embark on measures that will promote orderliness, peace and development in our Communities and we take that responsibility seriously.” He said.