Revenue Mobilization As A Tool For Effective Local Government Administration
This study focuses on Revenue Mobilization as a tool for effective Local Government Administration, taking Sanga Local Government Area as a case study. Revenue Mobilization is a concept that needs to be fully understood and exploited in order to find the ways and procedures of its collection and utilization. However, many Local Government Administrations fail to develop appropriate measures for its improvement due to the problem of collection procedure between the collectors and the supervising department. This situation usually leads to uncoordinated budgeting procedure, inability of the local government to implement its proposed budgets, thereby leading to lack of development in local government in Nigeria. Therefore, in order to fully appreciate the benefit of effective revenue mobilization, the local governments should ensure that there is absolute delegation of authority and functions. Besides, there should be intensive training of such personal and periodic revenue research activity should be embarked upon as well as the mobilization of intelligence personnel to be employed for optimum performance. This will improve the amount of revenue collected and help develop the local government in Nigeria.
Local Government revenue forms the major source of financing Local Administration in Nigeria. In view of the above statement, it becomes pertinent to study extensively the pattern of revenue mobilization, collection and appropriation as it relates to local government. Furthermore, apart from the central government, other sources of revenue need to be exploited for maximum benefits and development of local area especially Sanga Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
1.1 Background of the Study
The term Local Government does not have any specific definition. It has been seen and defined in so many ways depending on the perceptive one looks at it.It is yet to get a universally acceptable definition according to the United State Division of Public Administration. Local Government is a division of a nation which is constituted by the law and has substantial control over Local Government. This includes the power to impose tax and collect such taxes from its citizenry. The governing body of Local Government must be totally selected or elected.
Local Government is a political authority created by law at the community level to provide services of local nature to the area for which it was created. Generally, by the law of the Central Government, local government system of a state is created by act of the legislative while each local government authority is created by an instrument which defines its boundaries, structure, functions and powers. Local government has a legal personality which can sue and be sued.
Therefore, Local Governments are charged with the responsibility of mobilizing revenue to aid in the administration of the Local Government. Revenue is defined in the NigerianJournal of Administration volume IV No. 1973 page 13 as the total annual income accrued to a state from tax and other payments under the law that established administrative regions, villages and others. Otherwise, it is the total amount of money collected from individuals to the government or it is a compulsory payment made by individuals to the government. Government revenue is money that an organization receives over a period of time especially from service income, or the total money received by government through tax.
We cannot give money to government or public officers and go to sleep because we cannot vouch their performance and this brings us to the very important role of how revenue is being mobilized and effectively used in local administration.
1.2 Statement of the Problems
The idea of bringing government nearer to the people gave rise to the creation of states, yet it does not achieve the goals of spreading government policies. Not a pace at least that could match the breath taking needs of our percentage in this space age. It was healthy news therefore to all Nigerians when further steps were taken by introducing Local Government Reforms of 1976 for effective Local Government Administration at the local level taking Sanga Local Government Area as a case study area.
The glaring question is, which role has revenue played in the performance of local government/area function with particular reference to Sanga Local Government Council? What are the machineries used in the collection of that revenue? What are the periods of collecting this revenue? Who are the officers involved? Which department performs the duty at last? And who are the people supervising those officers responsible? These are some of the issues which this research intends to tackle. It is only when a problem is identified that efforts are made to find solutions to the problem.
1.3 Aims and Objectives of the Study
The bulk of revenue of Sanga Local Government is raised for personal income tax, rates and statutory allocation for both Federal and State Government, the main aims of embarking on this research includes:
- To identify the problems associated with revenue mobilization of Sanga Local Government.
- To know other sources of revenue generation apart from those of 1976 Local Government Reform sources.
- To study the major sources of finance that are accrued to the Local Government Area.
- To know how revenue mobilization are controlled.
- To offer useful suggestions for improving generation of more revenue for industries and mines, investment and so on.
- To ascertain the achievement so far made by Sanga Area Council during past and present governments.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The finance and account department of the Local Government is the life wire of the organization. Therefore, the significance of the study is the revenue mobilization and for effective Local Government Administration. It is very important so as to bring about prudent management of the local government. Secondly, it is aimed at meeting the requirement for the award of National Diploma in Public Administration and Management in the Federal Training centre, Kaduna.
It is worthy to note that any study one embarks upon is as important as anything one thinks of. However, the purpose of this study is to examine the role of revenue in the development of local government and effective implementation of policies and programme.
1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Research
This research will cover the area on revenue moibilization in Kaduna State and emphasis will be based on Sanga Local Government Area. More so, due to time span for the research which was too short, I could not visit the Local Government Council more than twice. Furthermore, the financial strengths of the researcher was lacking to some extent to pursue the research more vigorously.
1.6 Definition of Terms
Is money that an organization receives over a period of time especially from services income. It is the total money received by government through tax.
Activities that are involved in managing the work of organization. It can also be seen as a group of person with common interest of carrying out business for the purpose of making profitin the case of private administration and providing essential services in the case of public administration.
Is to encourage people to support something in an active way and attempt to mobilize things or people you have available to achieve your goal.
Formal to use something for a particular purpose. For example, we must consider how best to utilize and control what resources we have.
Officially allowed or limited by the system of rules of a state or organization.
5.0 Summary of Findings, Conclusion and Recommendations
In this chapter, efforts will be made to present the findings of this study, draw some conclusions and finally make some necessary recommendations.
5.1 Summary of Findings
From the study, one could summarize that the problem of effective mobilization of revenue available to local government, in particular, Sanga local government as a case study is not in the hands of the federal and state government, but in the hands of those in the council especially those entrusted with the local government revenue.
On the problem that hinders the effective mobilization of revenue available to local government, it was deduced from the data collected that general laxity on the part of the finance department top the list of the problem that hinders revenue mobilization . In this case, it means that the finance department to those entrusted with the revenue of the local government are strict with the regulations when it comes to handling the local revenue.
The collected and analyzed data revealed that the level of development on Sanga local government is unsatisfactory, though the actual revenue is not up to the estimated revenue, but the available revenue is not utilized to produce the basic amenities for the indigenes of Sanga local government like good roads, electricity, pipe – bore water etc.
It was identified that the mobilization of the revenue available to Sanga local government produced negative impact on its indigenes. It has produced underdevelopment in Sanga local government. There are no local industries where the indigenes of Sanga can be gaily employed. Therefore, the standard of living of the people of Sanga local government is very low.
According to the interview carried out by the researcher on one of the staff of Sanga local government, he was of the views that, though the money is coming both the statutory allocation and the internally generated revenue, but before the revenue gets to the implementation stage, the revenue will be inadequate die to embezzlement of the revenue by top officials.
Misplaced priority also hinders mobilization of revenue of the local governments. The revenue allocated and generated by local government are always misplaced and mismanaged. As one of the findings of this study, priorities are misplaced projects are done not according to or as demanded by the people.
The researcher also found out that lack of accountability constitute problem for effective mobilization of local government revenue, poor leadership, corruption, poor electoral body at the local level, late release of fund from the state government and inadequate skilled personnels. All these problems hinders effective mobilization of revenue available to local governments.
As a result of the findings of this research work, the researcher postulated that without good leadership, corruption free personnel as well as the chairman, accountability in every department of the local government, setting priority first, free and fair election at the local level, there can never be prudent management of its revenue.
Therefore, in order to combat the problems of effective mobilization of local government revenue, so that intended development of Sanga local government is enhanced and citizens enjoy modern items of development, the researcher recommended the following:
- Firstly, the electoral body at the local government area should carryout a free and fair election. This will reduce the number of corrupt and unqualified personnels in the local government.
- Secondly, the internal auditors to the council should be highly qualified senior accounting staff to avoid being intimidated by other administrative officers of the council.
- Thirdly, there should be an auditor general. Auditor general is very important in local government, this is because the auditor general is a neutral person who is appointed by the state government, and by so, he knows no one in the council, and function without being partial.
- Fourthly, there should be checks and balances. This is because power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The three tiers of government should act as a watchdog over the other.
- Fifthly, an audit alarm committee should be established in the local government so as to inform the auditor general when the chairman is making illegal payment.
- There should be inter-departmental checking of all the department especially the finance department i.e treasury department for accountability.
- Lastly, the state government should ensure to remit the share of local government revenue when due or promptly.
After careful study of the data collected and analyzed, the researcher drew the following conclusion
That the major problem of the mobilization of local government revenue originated from electing corrupt and unqualified personnel who knew little of nothing about being a leader or functionaries in the local government. When the head is corrupt, certainly, the whole body fellow when the leaders or chairman of a local government embark on illegal payment in the council without being cautioned, what then become of the staff. The overall impact of the problem of effective mobilization of revenue available is to say that, it has produced underdevelopment such as lack of social amenities like good road, tap water, electricity and other social infrastructural facilities and poverty.
The research work has discussed critically and analytically the problems of mobilization of revenue at local government level, examining the problems associated with revenue mobilization , the impact and the solutions to these problems. It is the view of the researcher that if those entrusted with the money of the local government are honest and accountable, posses sound knowledge about revenue, reduce human factors and posses accurate and reliable information etc. they will be able to effectively and efficiently manage and utilize revenue at local government level in such a way that will commend the support and approval of the people, ad deliver the needed development to where it is most needed.
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