By Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
Determined to find a way to augment the shortfall in revenues accruing to them from the Federation Account, some states gathered in Enugu and considered creative ways to boost their revenue base.
The states, namely Enugu, Rivers, Delta and Lagos as well as the FCT, Abuja at the Enugu meeting received training on resources mobilisation, responsive fiscal governance and participatory budget process for effective service delivery.
In order to generate more revenues from taxation and stem tax avoidance, the states agreed to put systems and strategies in place to ensure that their taxes work for the people, especially the poor.
“We seek tax reforms that promote an ICT database system, fair representation, transparency and progressive tax laws, policies and practices (e.g. tax to service agreements) capable of addressing poverty and inequality,” a resolution issued at the end of the training stated.
In this regard, participating states commended the leadership already shown by Lagos State in this respect. They also recommended the Lagos model to other states.
The states agreed to, as a matter of urgency, work out strategies for improving service delivery by transforming their internal processes and providing exemplary leadership to the people.
They also agreed to develop smart strategies for formalising the informal sector, particularly the non-oil sector.
They called on governments to provide active support to both Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and large industries, especially in the area of value chain development, in order to improve revenue mobilisation and fiscal independence.
Not less than 106 participants from Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) from Enugu, Delta, Lagos and Rivers States attended the training which was organised by Oxfam in conjunction with the Enugu State Government.