Senate Whip wants Buhari to Adopt Aggressive Taxation to Fund 2016 BudgetFeatured, Latest News, News Friday, January 22nd, 2016
Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja
BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Senators at the second day running of debate of the general principles of the N6.08trillion 2016 budget said that instead of relying heavily on borrowing substantially for the implementation of the budget which goes by average of N500million daily, heavy taxation is a better option.
They reckoned that with one of the projected revenues in the budget already crashing, that is, the N820 billion oil revenue that is at a deficit of N395billion now going by the $27 per barrel sells at the international market as against $38 per barrel projected in the budget, there must be a way out.
Leading the debate in this direction, the Senate Chief Whip , Olusola Adeyeye ( APC Osun Central ), said without spreading the dragnet of taxation in the country to all needed areas, there would be no money to fund the budget, moreso, in the face of dwindling oil revenue.
According to him, the country needs to go back to the model of governance used during the first republic where every adult was made to pay tax and not now that only civil or public servants , pay tax.
He said: “If we are going to move this country forward, we must go back to what we did in the days of Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikiwe.
“Nobody in my village will go to his farm until he can produce his tax receipt, we need ingenuity to bring this to pass.We must begin to tax things like cigarrete, alcohol, you beat your wife you pay heavily.
“Text messages cost N3.81 a page: if we add just N1 to a page of text message and we say that monet belongs to government we will make billions.
“We must install toll roads but that is not enough: across the world, when you park at any airport you pay per hour; we must do what the rest of the world does.
“We must begin to tax allowances, Nigeria is the only country that shelters the bulk of the earnings of its workers and call them allowances.You don’t want your allowances taxed? They will be taxed because they must be taxed”.
For proceeds made from tax collections and other revenues of government to be properly used, Adeyeye tasked the senate’s public Accounts Committee to be up to its responsibility as it was in the 7th Senate under the chairmanship of Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC Yobe North) .
He specifically called on the Senate President, Bukola Saraki , not to allow recommendations of such committee against wattages in governance to be swept under the carpet, just as he called for cut in governance at all levels and more effective oversight functions by the various senate standing committees.
His words: “I know that everybody in the Nigerian Senate is either a Chairman or a vice chairman of a committee, each of us therefore try to defend whatever sector that has been committed to your care.
“When things go wrong, if you are APC you will blame PDP, if you are PDP you will blame APC: we forget one thing that every years, we were sent by our people here to monitor this budget and prevent them from failing.
“I duff my hat to the former chairman of public account who brought to this senate most germane relevant document about abuses in the system but we in this chamber refused to consider it.
“I pray to God that under your leadership, whatever is brought must be considered otherwise God will judge all of us beginning from you.
“Lastly, if we are going to save this country, we must reduce the cost of governance: there are too many parastatals and when you look at these parastatals many of them have failed in their missions, we continue to protect them and give them money, it is time for them to go.
“We must go back to operation 504: there was a time when our President rode 504, go and stand in front of Eagle square, see what cars judges, senators and ministers are riding”.
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