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Understanding Edo New Tax Regime (3)

By Erasmus Ikhide
 Published May 17th, 2009

The tasks of reviving a comatose state or nation from outright collapse are more and more difficult than fixing it. It is like nurturing a child from diaper and unto formative years and then to adulthood. But the challenges we face today are surmountable given that Oshiomhole has the will power to overcome the human induced crises. With the will, we will have the means to combat crime, unemployment, infrastructure, human capacity development, security, poverty, human trafficking, prostitution and the like.

In all of these, there isn’t any particular area Edo State didn’t rank precariously, or may I say rustically, at the rug of the ladder of social development. The silver linen is that Edo State has potentials here and there to prioritize the variables in order to maximize the meagre resources in the face of plummeting economic downturn. If you go to our public Hospitals they are as just deplorable as the public schools conditions, and given the level of poverty in the land the vast majority of our people still look up to public health institutions and schools to meet their needs.

To talk about availability of clean water, even in the urban cities is something that the state cannot take for granted. But we are resolute because the best of a man’s inventiveness emerges from his moral absorbency in times trouble, rise above mundane concerns and forge well thought-out practical solutions to issues that seem insurmountable. The only way to provide an accurate mirror of the public will to the acceptance of the chosen democratic highway is to go back to basics and access how committed is our resolve, in full freedom, to collaborate with government in its drive for good governance.

The revalidation of actual Pay As You Earn PAYE, tax laws of 2004 is one of the steps taken by Oshiomhole-led administration as a matter of course and, one of the durable options on which an aspiring or prosperous state like Edo can be build. The organic integrity of this process should spur other states of the federation into emulative efforts towards self-dependence, self-reassurance and self-advancement; thereby reiterating the true principle of federalism.  

As a matter of courtesy, economic crisis like this should create an opportunity for all well meaning people in the nation’s economy communities to take participatory steps on the side of government towards its resuscitation by encouraging people to pay tax, demand for accountability in order to guaranty a better and sustainable future for the unborn generation. That was not to be; instead they maintained an undignified silence. With these communities as redeeming graces, wherever they found, Nigeria do not need opponents.

But as a matter of fact, Edo people are decidedly plying the part of honour in a bid to reposition the state through total adherence to the payment of tax in accordance with the laws as amended in 2004. The implementation of about 39 taxes, levies and feels, including 8 Federal, 11 state and 20 Local Government taxes and levies captured in the taxes and levies Act 2004 is one of the ways out of Nigeria over dependence on oil that might dry up soonest. With this and others, we will be able to deliver on our promise in all the call areas programmed to provide for the people as government that would have constituted a very hug deficit without taxation.

Oshiomhole administration is blowing up a perverted do-nothing successive and obscene lawless style of governance designed to reward only the mighty at the expense of the not-so-mighty. To many Edo people, Oshiomhole is the embodiment of their aspirations towards purposeful economic rebirth, even in the face of the failings, dubbed ‘‘economic meltdown’’ – the much adopted indulgence of the super rich nations and individuals to avoid taking responsibility for global financial crisis – that merely represents the limitation of human imperfection.

As auspicious as Edo tax administration might seem, the doubters’ eyes and the quibblers minds are not actually averted from the fact that ‘‘Edo State Government could get itself involved into the messing problems of income redistribution which includes disincentives of higher taxes, and tax invasion, etcetera’’. I have, in all earnestness, addressed these doubts by setting the tune at the outset as I superimposed the questions. In all intents and purposes, the inhabitants of the state who have been distended and the collapse of the state infrastructure under the watchful eyes of cletomanaic and mindless looting leader is enough to encourage tax apathy.

To me, this cynicism is well founded and it is not only healthy and desirable for the tax paying people of Edo State as well as the government, but also galvanizes the far reaching economic transformation by taking government to account and to task on its promises at the electioneering. It just couldn’t be better; after all democracy is richer for it in the long run.

What was more; the quest for human government pays heed essentially to strives and agitation of all shades of opinion and fused into a springboard for institutionalized dissents, allowing people to voice their concerns through formal channels.      

 

Erasmus Ikhide is a Senior Special Assistance Media Affairs to Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomnhole.


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