TAXATION AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA (A CASE STUDY OF UYO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, AKWA IBOM STATE)
- Background Of the study
Ademolekun (2005) noted that one of the recurrent problems facing local government development in Nigeria is dwindling revenue generation as characterized by annual budget deficits and insufficient funds for meaningful growth and viable projects development. This statement implies that local government has ineffective taxation policies which to a large extent affect the revenue base. Thus, they so much depend on revenue from the federal statutory account. This background brings us to the study if taxation and local government development in Nigeria.
Tax has been defined by various authorities and professionals in various ways. Webster’s dictionary of the English language defines tax as a charge imposed by government authority on property, individuals or transactions, to raise money for public purpose. Black’s law Dictionary describe tax as a ratable portion of the produce property and labour of the individual citizen taken by a nation. Tax is a compulsory levy which a government imposes on its citizens to enable it to obtain the required revenue to finance its activities (Adesola, 2008).
Examining the various definitions of tax, one observes taxation is very important for any government if it has to make any meaningful economic development. Thus, this study is concerned with development at the grassroot as being the goals of the local government administration. Thus, in an attempt to carryout development at all nooks and crannies of the society, the local government as the tier of government that is nearest to the people is saddled with the responsibility if direct development of the people to a certain level.
Development is highly associated with fund, much revenue is needed to plan, execute and maintain infrastructures and facilities at the local government level (Okoli, 2000). The needed revenue generated for such developmental projects like construction of accessible roads, building of public centres, construction of bridges among others are soles generated from states, national and international governments.
Thus, the local government cannot embark, execute and possibly carryout the maintenance of these projects and other responsibilities without adequate taxation. This is the basic reason why development is skeletal at some local government councils in Nigeria. The issue of poor taxation is not exceptional to local government in particular. This, however pronouncedly affect development negatively in local government councils. In the project, the issue to address is how far this poor taxation can affect development especially in Uyo local government.
1.2 Statement of the problem
The local government council takes direct care of the grassroot people that is the problem in the rural areas. These groups of people sometimes lack essential facilities and condition of the modern civilization (Udeh, 2008). They lack pipe borne water to drink, do not have electricity, accessible roads, poor educational infrastructure and facilities to mention but a few.
This is one of the major reasons of rural-urban migration of movement. This has made our cities to be congested and increase in many criminal activities. Based on the above and foregoing assertions, it is seen that the impact of the poor taxation on the development of the rural area is a serious problem. This might be as a result of poor taxation. If Nigeria is to achieve her desired goal of vision 2020 and possibly meet the millennium development goals (MDGs) targets, the issue of taxation must be addressed squarely. Hence, the researcher is bothered to find out the impact of taxation on the lives of the people at the rural area and how it has affected development in government especially in Uyo local government areas.
- Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of the research is to evaluate the impact created by taxation on the development of Uyo in Akwa Ibom State.
The other objective of this study includes:
- To determine the impact of taxation on the development of Uyo local government area.
- To find out the major revenue sources of Uyo local government area.
- To examine the methods adopted for prompt collection of tax in Uyo local government.
- To ascertain if there are problems of taxation in Uyo.
- To examine the lineup of problems to taxation in Uyo local government area.
- Research Questions
- What are the impacts of taxation on the development of Uyo?
- What are the sources of revenue in Uyo local government area?
- Are there methods adopted for prompt collection of data in Uyo local government area?
- Are there problems of taxation in Uyo local government area?
- What are the problems of taxation in Uyo local government area?
- Significance of the Study
The significance of any human endeavour is measured by its relevance to solving human problems. The findings of this study would help Uyo local government to identify the problems associated with taxation and its consequences on development.
- Scope of the Study
The study is focused on taxation and local government development. The study also looks at the various tax administrations and especially on how revenue generated from taxes are managed for developmental purpose of Uyo local government.
The study will cover a period of five (5) years (i.e between 2015 and 2020).
- Limitation of the Study
The study is focused on the impact of poor taxation and how it affects development of the local government areas. It will also involve the analysis of problems associated with taxation and its impact on the development of Uyo local government.
- Definition of Terms
Some concepts require proper explanation to enhance our understanding of the theme, where necessary, opinion of scholars will be cited to explain the terms. The researcher will also give some fundamental definition of terms used in the study.
- Local Government: According to Lawal (2000) local government as a political subdivision of a nation in federal system which is constituted by law and has substantial control of local affairs which include the power to impose taxes or exact labour for prescribed purpose.
Williams (2006) defines local government as involving the conception of territorial, non-sovereign community possessing the legal right and the necessary organization to regulate its own affairs.
- Revenue: Public revenue could be defined as the funds generated by the government to finance its activities. In other words, revenue is the total fund generated by government, (Federal, State and local government) to meet their expenditure for a fiscal year. This refers to the grand total of money of income received from the source of which expenses are incurred. Revenue could be internal or external revenue.
- Revenue Generation: This is the process of sourcing revenue for local government in carrying out their aims and objectives (Udeh, 2008).
- Expenditure: Public expenditure refers to the expenses which the government incurs for its own maintenance, in the interest of the society and the economy in order to help other countries.
- Tax: Tax can be defined as a compulsory levy by government on goods, services and wealth. It provides definite source of revenue for government expenditure (Udeh, 2008). It is a way by which government obtain extra money from income of individual and companies. Tax can be direct and indirect. A tax is a payment made by the tax payers and used by the government for the benefit of all citizens.
- Tax evasion: Tax evasion means illegal reduction in one’s tax liabilities, thereby paying less than the appropriate amount and not paying at all.
- Tax avoidance: Tax avoidance is the act of streamlining one’s financial affairs within the law so as to minimize the tax liabilities.
- Development: According to Ake (2001) development is the process by which people create and recreate themselves and their lives circumstances to realize higher levels of civilization in accordance with their own choice and values. It is also a type of social change in which new ideas are introduced into a social order to produce higher per capita income and levels of living through more modern production methods and improved social organization.