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This study attempts to investigate the problems of internal revenue generation in the local government system in Nigeria, using Aninri local government council of Enugu State as a case study. In doing this, we were able to determine whether Paucity of trained and skilled revenue collectors constrain Aninri Local Government council from generating enough internal revenue and to investigate whether corruption among revenue collectors hinders Aninri Local Government council from generating enough internal revenue.We also made use of descriptive survey method of data collection, in which questionnaire instrument was administered to the randomly selected staff of Aninri Local Government Council. We use simple percentage in analyzing our data. We adopted Systems theory as our theoretical framework and we were able to arrive at the following findings; that lack of training opportunities for revenue collectors has been the major problem that hinder the council from generating enough internal revenue, and Incompetence among council officials contributed to low generation of internal revenue, and Corruption which existed among revenue collectors hinders Aninri Local Government from generating enough internal revenue. Base on the findings the study recommend as follows: Regular training programmes should be provided for internal revenue collectors in order to minimize incompetence in the council and there should be checks and balances not only for the revenue collectors but the whole departments, this is because power corrupts, and, absolute power corrupts absolutely, there should be constant monitoring of internal revenue collectors and its Operational Performance to reduce the problem of corruption.
1.1 Background of the Study
Governments all over the world are the oldest organizational structures, and many people look up to them for specific functions which are expected to meet the desires and aspirations of the general public.
However, governments always try to perform some basic functions from their available resources. Such functions include provision of necessary and essential service to the general public. In order to achieve these aims, government must use and control funds which are generated from different sources in the economy.
Osagie (1931) observed that the major source of funds available to all tiers of government in the country is mostly from taxation. He noted that taxation which is the compulsory payment imposed by the government on individuals and companies is meant to generate funds to meet the financial obligation and commitments of the government. It does not depend on revenue realized from taxation alone but sometimes borrow to urgment its financial obligations.
In the same view, Nwaka (1988) stated that effectiveness of government revenue realization through taxation and other source depends on intergovernmental relations and the caliber of staff employed in the revenue section of the government. He was of the view that accountability in the
revenue division can only be assured if check and balances are properly maintained. This could be on the use and issuance of receipts by the revenue collectors. The revenue division can check the dishonesty of the revenue officials through proper receipt-keeping and ledger record books. The receipts are usually printed in duplicate, and the original is issued to the payee after payment, while the duplicate is retained in the book. This duplicate copy is normally presented to the Treasury Department when the revenue officers pay in. also in the local government, the finance department is required to maintain a cash-book for recording all revenue received.
Despite the fact that all these checks and balances can be adopted in both the state and local government in the country, there have always been problem of revenue generation and administration in the local government.
Sound internal revenue generation in local government system is an essential ingredient to the success of local government like any other organization and no local government in Nigeria that can carryout her developmental responsibilities without adequate utilization of internal revenue generated.
According to the 1979 Federal Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria S. 149, a lot of avenue were provided for the local government internal revenue generation, so as to enable them carryout their legitimate functions of rural development at the grassroot level, but this internal revenue generation in
the local government system has suffered a setback in recent time, because of corruption, mismanagement of funds, and dishonesty.
Adebayo and Rowland (1972) asserted that the problems of local government internal revenue in Nigeria was as a result of limited internal revenue sources compared to the function of the local government, poor revenue collection, ineffective financial control, non compliance by the people to pay their taxes and rates as well as other hindrances.
The financial memoranda (1999:233) of the local government also specified the various functions of the various officers of the local government interrelation to internal revenue generation and the financial control of this local government.
Drummer (19991) stated that problem of internal revenue generation in our local government system is a public finance concept, where he tend to concentrate on how to develop concepts concerning the nature and place of income tax in public finance. On local government, he recognized the fundamental problem of local government internal revenue which is how to provide the money vital to keep local government services going without diminution in public amenities, but fail to tell the general reader how additional revenue should be derived apart from the traditional review of the conventional sources of local government revenue. Particularly tenement community rates and the problems associated with the collections of internal revenue for the council.
More importantly, Nigeria as a sovereign nation operates a federal system of government i.e. the federal government, state government and the local government councils.
Onwo (1992) Observed that each level of the three tiers of government derive its powers not from the magnanimity of the central government but from the constitution, each level of government has defined responsibilities assigned to it by the constitution. The implication of this is that the three segments of governments are mutually interrelated in a unified effort to make life worth – while for the masses.
Aninri local government area was created out of Awgu local government in October 1996 by the late head of state General Sani Abacha. As one of the new local government councils, it is facing a very serious crisis of development since its creation. Some problems facing the council include: insufficient office accommodation, staff quarters and office infrastructures. These problems seem to be insurmountable.
Indigenes of the local government are desirous of enjoying modern facilities, improved means of transportation, such as good road network and mass transit transport services. These desires are in line with stated objectives of the local government such as construction and maintenance of roads, provision of health services such as maternity homes, health centers, sanitization, provision of primary education and many others – as sponsored by the federal military government. The federation (Nigeria) year’s book of 1983
outlined the aims of the local government system in the country. According to that document, one of the cardinal aims of the local government system is to make appropriate services and development activities, responses to local wishes and needs by delegating authority to local representative bodies.
The citizens expect the council to excel in developmental activities. They would like to please the community or communities in the local government area through the provision of functional federal roads and public utilizations.
The council administration on the other hand complains of inadequate finance to meet up with the numerous responsibilities yearning for attention. According to the guidelines for local government reforms or 1976, “it must be recognized that if meaningful local government is to be expected in Nigeria, much larger financial resources are needed” they also complain that staff salaries alone drain a high percentage of the monthly allocation. Financial experts postulate that money is at the center of developmental projects. Acquisition and proper accountability of funds are the pivot upon revolves.
Adedeji (1979) capped it all when he declared that the success or failure and the effectiveness and ineffectiveness of local government depend on the financial resources available to the individual local government and the way these resources are utilized.
From the foregoing, it seems that an empirical study into the revenue base of the local government system at this harsh economic period is not only useful but very vital.
It is therefore against this background that this project work is being undertaken with a view of discovering the problems of internal revenue generation in Local Governments with particular reference to Aninri local government area of Enugu state.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The relevance of the local government council as the government at the grassroot level is measured by the quality and quantity of service rendered to the rural dwellers. Local government can only achieve their aim by solving the problem of internal revenue generation in order to discharge its statutory functions effectively.
Despite the financial arrangement made as a result of the autonomy granted to the local government system in Nigeria by both the 1976 local government reforms and the Nigerian constitution, the council complain of problems of inadequate revenue generation, late payment of salaries, poor revenue assessment, collection and control, none provision of essential amenities to the communities.
Local government must be adequately staffed with people of the right caliber, and that the condition of service must be such as to attract and keep these people in the service of the local government of all the resources available to any organization or institution, be it public or private, and irrespective of its degree of technological sophistication, the human effort, variously referred to in management science as “personnel”, “Human Resources” “manpower”
“Employees” “Workers” or “staff” is without question, the most crucial and indeed, the singuaonon for the extent to which the organization goal attainment is initiated and determined by the persons who make up the organization. However, it is the most difficult to manage, and managers of this all important human component have always been faced with hard core problems of choosing those strategies that would best facilitate its optimal contribution to the realization of the goals for which the organization has been established.
While the crucial role of trained and skilled internal revenue collectors in organizational goal attainment has long been appreciated, as evidenced by organizations functions.
. Okereke (1968) observed that the major problem in internal revenue generation is lack of unskilled machinery for effective revenue generation as well as dishonesty both in the state and local government level. The researcher shall attempt to ascertain the problems which the Aninri local government council encounters in generating enough fund to carryout its functions. We shall attempt to provide answers to the following research questions;
(1) Does paucity of trained and skilled revenue collectors constrain Aninri Local Government council from generating enough internal revenue?
(2) Does corruption among revenue collectors hinder Aninri Local Government council from generating enough internal revenue?
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The broad objective of this study is to critically analyze the problem of internal revenue generation in the local government system in Nigeria using Aninri Local government area as a case study. However, this work will be guided by the following specific objectives;
1. To ascertain whether paucity of trained and skilled revenue collectors constrain the ability of Aninri Local Government council from generating enough internal revenue.
2. To determine whether corruption among revenue collectors hinder Aninri Local Government council from generating enough internal revenue.
1.4 Significance of the Study
Theoretically, the study will constitute an important source of data for researchers on
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