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NGO Tasks South-East On Taxation, Revenue Drive



Leadership Nigeria News Today

A non-governmental organisation (NGO), the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), has called on government authorities in the South-East states to increase their capacity in taxation and deepen revenue drive. The lead director of CSJ, Mr Eze Onyekpere, made this call during a presentation titled: “Budgeting for Regional Development’’ at a dissemination workshop on South-East States’ Three-Year Budgeting Profile on Thursday.

The workshop was jointly organised by CSJ, Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Nigeria, Enugu Campus. Onyekpere said that the South-East states had to show more commitment to access to fiscal information and open governance. He noted that participation and full mobilisation of society for development was also an important indicator in good budgeting that could promote good governance and best practices.

According to him, full year budgeting reports published and disseminated will make citizens to own, support and ask questions concerning the programmes embedded in the budget. “The Public Finance Management (PFM) is a critical tool for development and transformational governance leading to change of attitudes, lifestyles and consumption patterns, respect and obedience to laws and development policies,” he said.

“Improving and reforming the PFM system, not just the technical points will lay a solid foundation for societal transformation for development,’’ he said.

Prof. Osita Ogbu, the Director of the Institute for Development Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu campus, said the states in the zone should provide basic amenities in the South-East to make themselves relevant to the people.

Ogbu, a Professor of Economics, said that individuals, organisations and government in the region should rise up and live-up to their expectation in order to promote rapid development.

More than 70 media personnel in the South-East attended the workshop, where they brainstormed on ways the media could aid budget processes and development.