- Collaborate more, especially at the regional level, in order to tackle the recent sharp drop in revenue caused by the drop in global oil prices.
- Promote accountability and transparency. Combined with a progressive and pro-poor tax system this will act as an incentive against tax avoidance.
These are two of the main points of the advice given by 106 participants from Lagos, Enugu, Rivers and Delta States' ministries, departments and agencies at a recent two-day workshop on "Resource Mobilisation, Responsive Fiscal Governance and Participatory Budget Process at the Sub-national Level", jointly organised by Oxfam Novib and the Enugu State Government under the Financing for Development (F4D) Project..
The communique read, “We encourage sub-national governments to engage in intergovernmental collaboration, especially at the regional level, to provide a solid platform to overcome the current squeeze occasioned by a sharp drop in revenue. Joint projects/programmes by sub-national governments can be designed to scale up investments to cover more communities as well as ensuring increased benefits to the citizens."
”Sub-national governments should develop smart strategies for formalising the informal sector, particularly the non-oil sector. Governments need to provide active support to both SMEs and large industries, especially in the area of value chain development, in order to improve revenue mobilisation and fiscal independence."
“Sub-national governments should put systems and strategies in place to ensure that our taxes work for the people, especially the poor. This will act as an incentive against tax avoidance. We seek tax reforms that promote an ICT database system, fair representation, transparency and progressive tax laws, policies and practices (e.g. tax to service agreements) capable of addressing poverty and inequality. Lagos State leadership in this respect is highly recognised and recommended for other states.”
“Sub-national governments should adopt best practices in promoting transparency and accountability in governance. Citizens and non-citizens need to demand that the budget and other fiscal documents be made open and posted at the public domain for easy monitoring and evaluation of projects and programmes. Governments should optimise the potential of ICT in this regard.”
The workshop offered the opportunity to equip and empower the selected government MDAs, citizens and other stakeholders with new knowledge on resource mobilization, responsive fiscal governance and participatory budget process to enhance effective service delivery in the state. Furthermore, the training stimulated improved information sharing, fiscal capacity and synergies among states, LGAs and other stakeholders.