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Understanding Edo New Tax Administration (5)

By Erasmus Ikhide
 Published June 16th, 2009

No doubts, Adams Oshiomhole has started plugging the hole and fixing the leakages in the system which PDP has plunge the state over the years with harvest of dumb promises. It should not complain about Oshiomhole’s tardiness if ever there is any for just six months in office for not being able to fix the ruins they presided over for nearly 10 years! If nothing, Oshimohole has succeeded in building the organic bonds of common identity, restores peoples’ hope and confidence in governance that they have seen as the oppressor of the downtrodden.

With the current tax administration, the government of Adams hopes to raise its Internally Generated Revenue, IGR to N2 billion monthly as against N400 million with all the strategies put in place to block all the loopholes in the system. One of the problems of taxation in all the developing countries of the world is one that is associated with getting the generated funds to the right account of governments for onward utilizations for the public goods. But to build a truly sustainable tax system that will drive taxation, revenue generation and good governance towards development of the state, Oshiomhole has opted pragmatically for effective taxation in accordance with the principle of taxation.

As it were, electoral corruption begets material corruption; while the aspirations of the people mean nothing in the agenda of the fraudulently elected leaders. But I have said this repeatedly that the good people of Edo State whose legitimacy this government enjoys allows for civic engagement and participation and a sense of ownership of their government to pay their taxes knowing that they would not be shortchanged by the government of their Comrade Governor. This is the moment of truth; and it is the singular reason we need to cooperate with this administration in this moment of mutual responsibility in order to guarantee economic-rebirth for our dear state.

To this end, the changes we can substantially factor into the development of our Villages, Towns and Cities will be visible and worthy of the value we place on good governance through sacrifices so that the greatest benefit can be delivered to the greatest number of people. Because of fraud elections in time past which lead to corrupt governments where the will of the people come last, if at all it comes, the people never trusted or reposed confidence in our leaders at the helm of affairs.

That story, at least in Edo State has changed. The electorate and tax payers who have been disenfranchised in the past have now been enfranchised. They now see themselves as stake holders in the affairs of governance in their state; away from the given monarchy traditions that were paraded as democracy where a few cabal decide the fate of the majority. Our fate is now in our own hands. So, it is very appropriate for us to put our money where our mouths are.

The tax administration effort has started yielding positive results. The well meaning people of Edo State have responded positively in spite of PDP’s several attempts to destabilize the process in order to render the Comrade Governor government unpopular. This well heeled grandstanding campaign outfit could not find pliant or willing people to dissuade from committing themselves to their obligatory responsibility that is the hallmark of responsible citizen of any society.

The time-gaining device to return the people to their unthinkable past for the consolidation of un-gaining government has since fell in disfavour with the people who have elected to trust their destiny in the hands of one of their own elected Comrade Governor. These insignificant, but organised bands of exploiters would not let up in their quest to undermine the putative resolution of the people – a reductionist tactics that has assumed a grand art – laying claims to the people’s sovereign rights to vote, and denying them their rights to social amenities!

One expects them to be emotionally wrought with revelation of their sordid past that has nearly come to leave with us permanently. As the saying goes, hate the sin but not the sinner has been Oshiomhole’s approach to those who visited this ruins on Edo people. Now, they forged a reputation as the defenders of the same people Oshiomhole has rescued from their banalities of fraud, and from the clutches of poverty of the mind with his mighty trumpet as a social crusader and democrat.

The people of our dear state can now heave a sigh of relief that their dreams have come true: for they now have a state they can proudly call theirs, holding their government accountable as the government proceeds to fulfill her electoral promise.

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

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