Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre with support from OXFAM on Friday during a media briefing and advocacy meeting on Budget Monitoring and Fair Taxation called on government of Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Bayelsa and South Eastern States to be more responsive and proactive on budget implementation and follow up as a justice to good governance, sustainable development and reduction in poverty through participatory, engagement and awareness on fiscal policies.
This was made known by the Executive Director of KabetKache Women Development and Resource Centre, Mrs Emem Okon when reports of fair taxation, budget monitoring and implementations was presented by budget monitors across the South South and South Eastern region. She said the was need for citizens to hold government accountable on Budget implementation instead of celebrating mediocrity ahead of excellence. According to her reports from budget monitors disclosed that about 12.5% of the projects in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State are active while many others are inactive and needs restoration as soon as possible. This shows a very low project impact and outcome.
She noted that in Cross River State the level of compliance to government Anti Tax policy under the leadership of Prof Ben Ayade was positive. According to her the State on May, 2020 had established Anti Tax Agency to oversee that the low level business operators in the state are exempted from paying all forms of tax as a means of reducing the poverty level of some categories of persons involved in those business.
Mrs Okon said the organization budget intervention is meant to contribute significantly to the start of a movement centered around participatory fiscal governance as well as prudent and accountable use of public resources at the sub-national level.
“Our policy includes training citizens on budget tracking and monitoring across the Niger Delta and South Eastern States as a critical tool for addressing the problem of corruption, mismanagement and underdevelopment in Nigeria says Mrs Okon.
She provided valuable insights on the intricacies of taxation and budgeting in Nigeria relating to contracting and project implementation in the region as part of the problems established during the advocacy meeting was non accessibility of contractors handling government projects in the region as most of them have changed their addresses.