BY- SAMUEL OJO
Fiscal federalism has been proposed as a panacea to reposition the Nigeria tax system and significantly increase its tax to gross domestic product contribution at the 2nd annual lecture of the Lagos State Chair in Tax and Fiscal Matters, a chair endowed and sponsored by the Lagos State Government in the department of Commercial and Industrial Law, University of Lagos.
The lecture was geared at evaluating the benefits of fiscal federalism in Nigeria.
Chairman of the occasion, Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Ade Ipaye, underscoring the importance of the annual lectures said that “tax is the lifeblood of good governance”.
In her remarks, the Dean of the Faculty of Law, Professor Ayodele Atsenuwa said that the lecture to be delivered is a product of thorough research directed at economic development.
Delivering the lecture titled “Fresh Agenda For Fiscal Federalism in Nigeria – A Proposal”, the lecturer, Professor Abiola Sanni, said that “states cannot survive on their own without revenue, therefore, fiscal federalism is needed to ensure that tax powers are devolved to states”.
According to him, fiscal federalism will allow for needs at the grass roots to be met through the subnational governments which are closer to the people.
Professor Sanni proposed that going forward, the “one level of government, one tax” modus operandi should be done away with. Rather, the government should focus mainly on two major taxes; income and expenditure.
The chair is a total package that compels its occupier to present a compilation of painstaking research in the areas of tax and fiscal matters.
To that end, “A Compendium of Nigerian Tax Cases” authored by Professor Abiola Sanni was unveiled.
Chief host of the lecture, Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, acknowledged the Lagos State Government for the endowment and called on alumni members to give back to the institution in forms of endowments, scholarships and bursaries as they are key drivers of advancement for the university.