PROBLEMS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT REVENUE GENERATION
(A CASE STUDY OF NSUKKA LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN ENUGU STATE
Revenue is the pivot of any economy, it is given priorities in the national budgets preparation because it is on the revenue available that expenditure is based. Revenue generation is never an easy task hence the available revenue checks expenditure at all levels of the economy.
The 1989 constitution states under section 160(9) that “Revenue” means any income or revenue derived by the government of the federation from any source and includes:
(A).any receipt however described, arising from the operations of any law
(B).any return however described, arising from or in respect of any property held by the government of the federation.
(C). any returning way of interest on loans and dividend in respect of shares or interest held by the government of the federation in any company or statutory body.
Public revenue, according to Stephen and Osagie (1985:182) is concerned with the various ways in which the government raises revenue. Government has different source it needs for carrying out the various scale functions required of it.
Nigeria operates a federal system of government with three levels, the Federal, The states and the local government. The federal is the back bone of the three tiers of the government why the state and the local government are the centralized arms of the central government.
Local government could be defined as the government of the people at the grass root level. Local government plays direct and active roles in the building up of Nigeria economy especially now that the local governments are autonomous hence the researchers have chosen to look into the local government revenue generation, problems and prospects with particular reference to Nsukka local government area of Enugu state.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS
A problem that is well identified is said to have been half-solved. Most problems that are ill defined result in an in correctly focused research effort and produce result that neither lead to increased efficiency nor effect illness.
Since 1976 different government in Nigeria(whether civilian or military)have recognized the importance of local government as inevitable agencies of ensuring grass root participation of the masses in the governance of their country.
The same federal government must have recognize the heavy burden(CAPITAL) this important tier of government is bound to carry in the process of catering for our teeming masses. This explain the elaborate arrangement made by successive federal and state government on how much revenue the local government should receive from a federal and state levels and how much each local government should generate on it own.
But experience and fact have shown that only a few local governments, generate enough funds to carry on these services. Most depend on federal and state sub-ventures to survive hence they lied and cry whenever such sub-ventures are not forth coming.
This situation arises some fundamental questions:
(i). Despite the elaborate uniform operational systems of revenues generations given to them by the federal governments, why is tit impossible for local government to generate enough funds to carry on?
(ii).Can these problems be overcome?
(iii).If they can be overcome, do these local government have prospects of improving on their operational mechanism in order to be self sufficient?
This research work is focused in such problems and prospects.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
• TO educate the local government staff on the bases of revenue generation and how such revenue are disbursed to enhance productivities at the grass root level.
• To monitor the funds of the local government in order to minimize fraud.
• To review and enclose all the numerous sources of revenue that is available to the local government in order to increase their efficiency in their operational system.
• To ensure steady statutory allocation to local government far proper service delivery for the masses.
• To encourage federal and state government in the support of the local government level financially, in order to enhance standard living at the grass root level.
1.2 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
Local government has often been accused (rightly or wrongly) by the citizens of generating huge sums of money from masses, misappropriating such fund and not using for the welfare of the citizen.
On their own parts, local government propagandist/officials have always reputed such allegations by insisting that they have never been able to generate enough funds to provide the expected services, pay their staff, and carry out important projects.
This study therefore sets out to find out whether:
- The machinery for local government revenue generation should be adequate and effective.
- The personnel to handle such machinery should be capable enough to discharge their duties effectively
- Such personnel should be equipped to handle the job
- Obstacles are encountered in the process of revenue generation and such should be addressed.
An attempt is made to ascertain whether local governments are capable of generating enough revenue or funds to break-even or whether they generate such funds and misuse them. This will facilitate appropriate recommendations
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
At the end this research work the following would have benefited in various ways:
- Revenue generating agents in Nsukka local government and elsewhere would have been given more efficient weapons for performing their job more effectively. This will enhance their job effectiveness and satisfaction.
- Revenue officers will be able to know the sources of revenue that yield most and work towards the development of such and new source will be discovered.
- Local government functionaries in and elsewhere in Nigeria would have been able to discover the loophole in the area where they are mostly discovered criticized. This can improve this relationship with the masses they are meant to serve.
- State functionaries connected or concerned with revenue generation also stand to benefit from this project. The problems so identified or x-rayed and their solutions can help them correct their shortcomings and become better functionaries.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research work is centered on the local government revenue generation, problems and prospects with particular reference to Nsukka local government area of Enugu state.
It is noteworthy that revenue generation and its attendant problems and prospects are not particular to Nsukka local government but nationwide.
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTION
The following questions were formulated to enable the researcher to carry out the research work effectively.
• Do people’s expectation of what the government should do for them influence their willingness to pay local rates?
• Do the collectors receive enough incentives?
• Is there effective utilization of revenue generated?
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Insufficiency of funds and the dearth of relevant materials was a serious limiting factor. Other difficulties met they were inability of some officers to release information in the management of the generated revenue and how it was utilized.
1.8 DEFINITION OF THE TERMS
English words have meaning based on the context in which they are used. The researchers therefore took time to write some and their meaning as they related to the research work. Such words and their meaning are as follows:
LOCAL GOVERNMENT: The Macmillan Encyclopedia defined Local government as the administration of the locality “(page 733 AK5 M32). Encyclopedia American Vol-17 page 637, has defined the term as a political sub-division of regional government.”
REVENUE: “Return from investment, property, etc. items of income collected, the annual or periodic income for example income from taxes, customs and excise collected by a government state for public use.
TENEMENT: Large building with apartments for the use of many families at low rates.
LOCAL TAX: This is defined by Rowland as “a tax which is levied by a local government in its own rights and which is locally assessed and collected by the local government.
TIER: According to guide lines, the term “TIER is used to mean a set of local government with their own identity, power and sources of revenue established under the state legislation and with functions for which they are responsible to the state”.
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