By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo
Peeved by the economic hardship confronting Osun state, Stakeholders in the state have urged the people of the state to pay their tax before being compelled to do so by the government.
Rising from the Stakeholders Conference convened by the lawmakers, consisting of National and State Assemblies under the eagis of Osun Legislators’ Forum, the conference decided that part of the means of ameliorating the economic challenges is for the people to be patriotic by paying their tax.
The conference also advised the state government to device possible means of boosting the internal generated revenue of the state.
A communique issued at the end of the conference that held in Osogbo at the WOCDIF event centre on Monday, 10th August, 2015, reads: the Conference therefore resolves as follows:
“That the infrastructure development of the State of Osun is essential, irrevocable and should go on without compromise within the limit of available funds. Government should evolve all possible policies and programmes by which the economy, hence revenue realisable by the State of Osun could grow.
“In the face of dwindling revenue from the federation account, all Osun people must resolve to collectively ensure that there is tremendous improvement in the internally generated revenue. All the people and businesses in the State of Osun must patriotically pay their taxes and rates before being compelled to do so.
“Loopholes in the way revenues are collected should be blocked. There is an urgent need to review the cost of governance particularly to ascertain accurately the Cost of the various components, salaries, allowances and overheads encompassing recurrent expenditure of the Government of Osun.
“That there should be feedback mechanism on government policies and programmes so as to evolve prudence, transparency and accountability in fund management.
“Government should consider diversification of the state economic base. There should be an improvement in the on-going efforts in the area of agriculture, mining and tourism. Government should embrace Public Private Partnerships (PPP) where the State has comparative advantage especially in the Areas of Agriculture, Mining and Tourism.
“There should be more efforts at ensuring that government patronises more competent and efficient local contractors so as to create more wealth within the economy of the State of Osun. The state Public and civil Servants should cooperate with government with a view to ensuring efficient and effective service delivery.
“In line with the objective to revisit the cost of Governance, Government should follow up with the declared readiness of Labour leaders to allow verification and audit of staff strength in the state with a view to confirm actual number of workers and the salary bill.
“Public servants in the state should be motivated to work efficiently as would be expected of them while reduction in the use of consultants should be exploited. Parents through the platform of Parents Teachers Association (PTA) should be made to contribute token to augment the laudable free education policy of the state government.”