A group of professionals has advocated for the establishment of state and local government joint tax collection mechanism in Sokoto state to ensure effective collection, remittance and distribution of tax revenues.
The group made the resolution in a communiqué issued at the end of three-day training workshop for officials of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, and Local Government Educational Authorities Sokoto State.
The workshop was on Fiscal Governance for Effective Gender Responsive Service Delivery, organised by ActionAid Nigeria, part of its project tagged “ Breaking Barriers Project” in Sokoto State.
The project is being implemented in collaboration with Sokoto State Government, Rural Women and Youth Development, an NGO, with support from Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation.
The participants advised the government to look inwards and strengthen relevant institutions to improve on its Internally Generated Revenues to effectively carry out its mandates.
They stressed the need for state executive council to initiate policy and legal reforms on the tax system by reviewing obsolete laws to address current challenges in tax collection and administration.
“The State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning should take steps to make the budget participatory, people-centered and gender-responsive to address the needs of women, children, youth and vulnerable.
“The State Government should, as a matter of urgency domesticate the freedom of Information Act.
“It should also implement the provisions of both the Fiscal responsibility and procurement laws for improved transparency and accountability in public finance management in the state,” the participants stated.
They added that Sokoto State Ministry of Commerce and Industry should develop database of SMEs and support them to be profitable.
According to the participants, Sokoto state being a transit to neighbouring states and countries, should think of establishing Truck Transit Parks, to expand its tax base and increase the revenue of the state.
“The State Government should improve the collection of the Jangali (cattle tax), as well as reconsider other taxable areas not currently covered.
“The State Ministry of Finance should automate the tax system and establish a Single Treasury Account to block leakages of tax revenues.
“The State Government should strengthen the capacity of the entire staff of the Board of Internal Revenue for effective Tax administration and collections to enhance optimum performance” the participants advised.
It said the participants also gained more on responsive fiscal governance and participatory and gender responsive budget process for effective service delivery at state and local government levels.
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