By Prince Osuagwu
AS Nigeria’s 95 percent oil dependent economy continues to dwindle, the nation seems to be running from pillar to post to salvage and stabilize the economy. One of those areas envisaged to quickly cushion the effects of the oil price decline on the economy is to cut cost and plug wastes. However, this can not be done without accurate measurement of income and expenditure of the country’s earnings. In equal terms, there is no way accurate measurement can be achieved with the present manually dependent revenue generation and accounting system that is so pervasive among all the tiers of government.
Now, that is where the role of new technology in influencing the way a country’s tax system operates, becomes an issue that needs urgent attention.
Over the years, the federal government has been doing so much in revaluing, restructuring and reforming the Nigerian tax system with the primary objective of making it the main source of revenue generation for the government as obtained in other developed countries.
Where the tax administration of a country is weak, its economy tends to be dysfunctional. This is why most nations have tried to align their tax systems with the growing trend, which is information communication technology in order to reduce or eradicate leakages and loopholes for corrupt practices while also creating efficiencies in the tax administration.
The realization of this fact has triggered much interest, planning and restructuring in the area of developing taxation, especially in the developing economies, including Nigeria. One of such is the e-revenue sustainability conference organised by Intermarc Consulting limited in conjunction with other stakeholders like CBN, Accountant General’s office, Remita and Alpha Beta among others.
The event is billed to happen in Abuja next week and will chart a framework by which proper accountability will be entrenched in Nigeria.
According to Intermarc’s Adeyinka Adeyemi: “We are going to partner the Accountant General’s office. The focus is to bring together all the stakeholders from federal to state and local government who have a function of collecting revenue for the govt. This is also like the transformation of the banking industry and the transition from a cash to a cashless society .
Now we are at the cutting edge of collecting revenue, administering revenue in a non manual way. We now more than ever, need to block all leakages to keep as well as grow our revenue.
Statistically, most State Governments generate only about 15% of their revenue and depend on federal allocation for further sustenance. Unfortunately, this is no longer sustainable. Government therefore needs to focus on a planned strategy for a sharp turn-around from Oil dependence to self-sustainability”
He added that “For Nigeria to succeed during these times of change, we need to define and embrace a rigorous framework for revenue sustainability — something that goes beyond well-intended but overarching statements and builds a foundation that helps achieve its sustainability and set goals.
The starting point for the measurement of revenue sustainability of a nation should be based on the principle needing to find a way to meet the needs of the current generation without jeopardizing the ability of future