BY JOE Favour & Andrew Darrah /UGHELLI
United States of America based Professor of Cybersecurity, Alexander Akpodiete, has cautioned the Federal government to yield to the demands of states in order to bring government closer to the people.
He stated this while reacting to the outcome of the meeting of South South Governors recently where they insisted on joining Rivers States over VAT suit.
According to Dr. Akpodiete, “If the states are allowed by the federal government to be collecting VAT, more development will be extended to the grassroots.
He said, “The state government is more directly closer to the people and that If the state is in control of the VAT money, some of the projects abandoned by the federal government in such states would be taken over by the state governments.
“Some of the roads and projects in the states are left undone because the state governments always believe that they belong to the federal government and it is federal government’s responsibilities to fix them. If the states had been in charge, some of these challenges would not have lingered on till now.
“As a big infrastructural development person, if I am opportune to be in charge of the VAT in my state, the VAT money will be channeled to infrastructural development of the state for the residents of the state to feel the impact.
On how to overcome the security challenges in the country, the Indigene of Ughelli in Delta State, said part of the VAT money can be used to fund the security system in the states in order for the people to sleep with their two eyes closed. These monies should be used to develop the states, revive the ailing industries and create employment opportunities for the youths.
“Because of the insecurity that is bedevilling our states, some of the Governors now stay and govern their states from Abuja. Many northern politicians stay in Abuja because of the height of insecurity in their states.”
“In some civilized countries, many states have what is called State Sales Tax which is similar to VAT, which is used by the respective state to develop itself. If a State has a large population and is well organized, the state tax revenue will be commiserate to its supposed population.”
“In other words, if you are telling me that your state has more population than my state and it is not reflecting in your tax revenue, it then mean you are either not fruitful or not truthful to yourselves. Akpodiete stated.
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