Posted by News Express | 3 August 2015 | 3,774 times
Publicity Secretary of the PDP in Kwara, Chief Rex Olawoye, on Sunday flayed the quick passage of the new tax law by the state House of Assembly.
Olawoye told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that such a law that would have direct impact on the lives of the people should be subjected to public debates before passage.
He therefore advised the Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed to explain to the people what the new tax law entailed and how it would benefit them.
“There should have been a public hearing on the new tax bill before passage into law if the state government is sincere and alive to the plight of the common people in the state,” he said.
The PDP spokesman wondered where and how the state government would meet the targeted N3 billion monthly as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from the state.
“Now that the government is targeting N3 billion monthly as IGR, they should tell us the things they want to levy to realise this. This is a tall ambition in a very impoverish state like Kwara, it would further impoverish the common masses that formed the bulk of tax payers in the state,” he said.
The PDP spokesman declared that the people would be willing to pay tax and even make sacrifices provided the government was sincere and show tangible evidence of provision of essential utilities.
Olawoye therefore cautioned the state government to know that there were specific areas of taxation that were under the state as well as under the local government councils in accordance with the 1999 constitution.
He said: “Our fear is that this move by the state government will frustrate and erode the little autonomy granted to the local government councils.
“This is because most of the areas the state government will be taking the taxes are constitutional jurisdiction of the local governments.”
Olawoye also criticised the decision of the state government to ban tertiary institutions in the state from collecting school fees or any form of levies from the students.
“PDP also entertains the fear of totally worsening the already falling standard of education when the state government starts to collect all fees and levies payable to the institutions in the name of IGR.”
He said this would stifle development and growth being initiated and financed by the institutions through their IGR.
“It will also force the captains of those institutions to become slaves to the state government and go cap in hand to collect anything belonging to them having been deprived the opportunity to collect fees,” he said.
Besides, he said this would remove autonomy such tertiary institutions have been enjoying as the monthly allocations from the state government could not pay salaries of staff until augmented by IGR.
This, Olawoye said has been demonstrated by the state owned Polytechnic’s ability to pay its staff salary without recourse to government, while staff of other state owned tertiary institutions were being owed arrears of salaries. (NAN)
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