By Taban Henry
The Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said there is no transparency in the collections and the use of the Personal Income Tax (PIT) in the States and Administrative Areas, saying it’s petitioning the Council of States to investigate the scandals.
In a statement extended to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Sunday CEPO’s Executive Director Mr. Edmund Yakani said transparency on the collection and use of the PIT funds at the States and Administrative Areas is problematic and associated with absolute lack of transparency.
He said they have been closely following the implementation of the 5th Governors Forum Resolutions, 2022 most importantly on the PIT collection and management which exposes some malpractices in the States, government dealings creating frictions.
“One of the key resolutions was assigning the State governments to collect and administer the revenue item of Personal Income Tax (PIT); this resolution was effectively executed by the States and Administrative Areas government. Community Empowerment for Progress Organization realized under our transparency program” he disclosed.
“CEPO is petitioning the leadership of the Council of States in collaboration with National Revenue Authority and National Ministry of Finance to constitute a team that travel to the States and Administrative Areas for urgent solution finding on the frictions around the PIT management by the States and Administrative Areas leaders,” he said.
Yakani has accused some State governors and chief administrators of the Administrative Areas of utilizing the PIT funds through personal directives not in transparent manner as government public financial management standards dictate.
The activist emphasized that the PIT fund constitutes a sound source of State revenues if it is properly and transparently managed and administered.
He stressed that lack of transparency in managing and administering the PIT have now created administrative and political clashes and frictions between the State Legislative Assemblies and the executive organs in most of the States and Administrative Areas.
“Some States lawmakers are in serious frictions with State Ministers of Finance and governors over issue of transparency on the management of PIT” he exclaimed.
The activist then called on the leadership of the Council of States to seriously take immediate action of understanding the situation of the PIT management clashes between state governments’ organs, that’s the state legislative assemblies, ministers of Finance and state Governors before the situation turns into total political mess that may lead to violence.
“The Council of States leadership’s silence over this matter may mean that they are not executing their constitutional rights on matters of states and administrative areas stability” Yakani questioned.
“CEPO’s petition will be officially table to the leadership of the Council of States on Monday 26th September 2022. CEPO expect the leadership of the council of states to immediately response to this issue of PIT mismanagement which is clear case of corruption,” he stated
Yakani also urged the national, states and administrative areas governments to implement the resolutions of the 5th States Governors Forum without any delay.
He said CEPO will be organizing evaluation and monitoring workshop on the implementation of the 5th Governors Forum Resolutions early November 2022.
“Our current observation is that the national, States and Administrative Areas are not serious in implementing the 5th States Governor Forum Resolutions apart from the quick implementation of the Resolution on PIT management and administration” he added.