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Economy Government

The Impact of Tax on Enugu State Internally Generated Revenue

According to Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, a compulsory contribution to state revenue is levied by the government on workers’ income and business profits, or added to the cost of some goods, services, and transactions.

Taxes generally contribute to the gross domestic product (GDP) of a country. Because of this contribution, taxes help spur economic growth which in turn has a ripple effect on the country’s economy; raising the standard of living, increasing job creation, etc.

The Government of Enugu State also uses taxes as a deterrent for undesirable activities such as the consumption of liquor, tobacco smoking, etc. To achieve this, governments impose high excise levies on these products and as a result, raise the cost of these products to discourage people from buying or selling them. 

In many countries, the three most important areas in tax collection play a major role includes:

Health

Without taxes, the enugu state government’s contributions to the health sector would be impossible. Taxes go to funding health services such as social healthcare, medical research, social security, and ensuring the upgrade of various health facilities across the country.

• Education

Education could be one of the most deserving recipients of tax money. The Enugu State government put a lot of importance on the development of human capital and education is central to this development. Money from taxes is channeled to funding, furnishing, and maintaining the public education system. Since money from these schools is barely substantial, some of these taxes are needed for the everyday running of the institutions.

• Governance

Governance is a crucial component in the smooth running of any affair. Poor governance would have far-reaching ramifications on the entire country with a heavy toll on its economic growth. Good governance, especially in the Coal City State, ensures that the money collected is utilized in a manner that benefits the citizens of the country. The gburugburu-led administration ensures that this money also goes to pay public servants, police officers, members of parliaments, the postal system, and others. Indeed, with a proper and functioning form of government, there will be no effective protection of public interest.

Efforts to improve revenue generation  

According to the chairman, of the Enugu State Board of internal revenue, revenue generated by taxes is limited by laws that define tax jurisdiction for each of the three tiers of government. The federal government spelled out the classes of taxes to be collected by each tier of government that is, federal, state, and local government. The state board of internal revenue is left with the option of perfecting the performance of the existing sources. However, the following measures are being embarked upon by both the state board of internal revenue and the state government. 

  1. Information processing centers have also been opened to process and issue new national driving license.
  2. The state government has opened up new motor licensing offices in each of the 17 (seventeen) local government areas of the state.
  3. The radio jingles of Enugu state radio broadcasting services each time they are about reading the news calling on people to be patriotic, pay their taxes, and join hands in building the state.

4. Tax offices have been opened up in each of the 17 local government areas of the state as well as sub-tax offices. This brings the tax officials close to the taxpayers for an increased revenues generation.

5. Government participation as the major collector of his revenue rather than using contractors has helped in attracting revenue to the government through which tax could be raised by stamp duty and withholding tax.

6. The status of Enugu as a state capital has always attracted a lot of businesses and the environmental friendliness of the state has also attracted multinational companies like Nigeria Breweries which built an ultra-modern brewery of close to 44 billion naira.

7up has also completed its plant and went into production in August 2003. The Guinness Brewery has fenced the large expense of land, an indication that they are getting ready to stake off if not completed by now.

Also in the polo park between IMT and popularly known Celebrity restaurant is a multi million Word Trade Center (Shoprite, and other bigger establishments in it).

  • Pool Betting and Gaining Casino are also contributing to the revenue generation of the state.
  • The popular okada (cyclist) has been scrapped following the introduction of the cool city taxi scheme and Keke Napep to minimize the rate of crimes committed through the use of okada and to generate greater revenue in the state.

9. The government of recent has been encouraging revenue generation by releasing the needed fund for the procurement of the working material.

And with time, revenue yield will increase as we put finishing touches on the system, the chairman of the Board of Internal Revenue Mr. F.O.C. Chime retorted.

 Reports of revenue yield

The Enugu State Government has recorded N7.1 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the first quarter of 2021, a report by the State Ministry of Budget and Planning has stated.

According to the Budget Performance Report obtained on Monday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, the figure represents 24.4 percent of the N29.2 billion targeted for the year.

The report stated that revenues from Federal Account and Value Added Tax (VAT) amounted to N13 billion, representing 19.7 percent against the N65.7 billion projection for the 2021 fiscal year.

The revenues show inflows of N20.1 billion within the first quarter of 2021 as the figure represents a 13 percent performance of the 2021 budgeted inflows of N154.8 billion.

It also stated that the aggregate recurrent expenditure within the same time stood at N11.6 billion, representing 16.9 percent performance against the projected recurrent expenditure of N68.7 billion.

“The sum of N9.1 billion was the actual expenditure for personnel. This signifies 23. 9 percent performance when compared to an approved budget of N38.1 billion. “The sum of N1.9 billion was actual overhead spent in the Q1 2021 representing 7.7 percent performance against a budgeted overhead of N25 billion,” it stated.

The report stated that the state government spent N547.8 million in debt servicing and similar transactions.

“This translates to 9.8 percent performance when compared to the budgetary projection of N5.6 billion for the fiscal year,” it stated.

It stated that N3.3 billion, representing 3.3 percent capital expenditure performance was utilized in the first quarter.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in addition to all of these, the first quarter of 2021 had witnessed constant payment of staff salaries and allowances as well as regular payment of the overhead cost to Ministries, Departments, and Agencies.

“The period equally witnessed capital investments which are rationalized within the scope of fund availability.

“The government hopes that there will be a remarkable departure from the first quarter performances in the coming quarters of 2021,” the board stated.

Also, The Enugu State Government recorded N7.1 billion as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in the first quarter of 2021, a report by the State Ministry of Budget and Planning has stated.

According to the Budget Performance Report obtained on Monday by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu, the figure represents 24.4 percent of the N29.2 billion targeted for the year.

The report stated that revenues from Federal Account and Value Added Tax (VAT) amounted to N13 billion, representing 19.7 percent against the N65.7 billion projection for the 2021 fiscal year.

The revenues show inflows of N20.1 billion within the first quarter of 2021 as the figure represents a 13 percent performance of the 2021 budgeted inflows of N154.8 billion.

It also stated that the aggregate recurrent expenditure within the same time stood at N11.6 billion, representing 16.9 percent performance against the projected recurrent expenditure of N68.7 billion.

“The sum of N9.1 billion was the actual expenditure for personnel. This signifies 23. 9 percent performance when compared to an approved budget of N38.1 billion. “The sum of N1.9 billion was actual overhead spent in the Q1 2021 representing 7.7 percent performance against a budgeted overhead of N25 billion,” it stated.

The report stated that the state government spent N547.8 million in debt servicing and similar transactions.

“This translates to 9.8 percent performance when compared to the budgetary projection of N5.6 billion for the fiscal year,” it stated.

It stated that N3.3 billion, representing 3.3 percent capital expenditure performance was utilized in the first quarter.

Conclusion

Taxes help raise the standard of living in a country. The higher the standard, the more relevant tax returns are. According to the Vanguard, only 40 million out of the 200 million Nigerians living in the state pay taxes. And this is an anomaly. Consistent tax returns will help the Enugu State government runs its affairs which will ultimately cater to the needs of its tax-paying citizenry. This is because the state government would ensure amenities, quality service delivery, and supply of amenities for the members of the state.

Written by Sedo Elijah Ebinne

Categories
Government Politics

Power Zoning in Enugu State

Power Zoning in Enugu State: 

Enugu State (Igbo: Ȯra Enugu) is a state in the South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria, bordered to the north by the states of Benue and Kogi, Ebonyi State to the east and southeast, Abia State to the south, and Anambra State to the west. The state takes its name from its capital and largest city, Enugu.

Enugu State is among the states where a change of leadership must take place in 2023. This is because of the outgoing governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is serving his last term of four years as the helmsman of the state having assumed office on May 29, 2015. 

Ahead of the 2023 governorship election in Enugu State, one major issue shaping the political future of the state is the zoning contention. Since last year, rotation of the governorship position has been a major discourse by the contenders for the governorship seat as they hit up the political space in their bid to succeed Governor Ugwuanyi.

For the major opposition parties in the state, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA), the issue of zoning appears settled as the 2023 governorship slot has been zoned to Enugu East Senatorial District which has Nkanu West, Nkanu East, Enugu North, Enugu South, Enugu East, and Isi-Uzo local government areas.

With the uncertainties surrounding the new Electoral Act, two prominent members of the Enugu State Executive Council, Barrister Chijioke Edeoga and Joseph Onoh have already picked nomination forms to vie for the position of governor. 

With this intention, Edeoga resigned from his position as the State Commissioner for Environment. Edeoga is being rumoured as the possible choice successor of Governor Ugwuanyi. He is also rumoured to be the major reason the governor and his associates are pushing for the governorship position to be zoned to Enugu East.

However, Governor Ugwuanyi is believed to be sustaining the power-sharing arrangement, which has made elections less rancorous and divisive in Enugu State.

The Zoning Issue

The zoning issue is between Enugu East Senatorial District and Enugu West Zone where Ekweremadu, a major contender for the governorship election hails from. The contention from Enugu East is that having occupied the governorship seat first from 1999 to 2007 and handed over to Enugu West which occupied the seat between 2007-2019 and handed over to the Enugu North which is currently occupying the seat, it is only fair and just for the power to return back to Enugu East where it all started to begin again in 2023. PDP stakeholders in the zone warn that the party may be heading for doom if they fail to zone the governorship slot to the area.

In line with this mindset, the governor, who comes from Enugu North Senatorial District, from all indications, aligns with various leaders and stakeholders that his next governor should emerge from Enugu East Senatorial District.

Reiterating his support for the zoning agreement recently, the governor said there is no going back on the decision to allow Enugu East to produce the next governor of the state. Speaking through his Special Adviser (Media), Steve Oruoruo, Ugwuanyi said the zoning arrangement was started by the forefathers must stand and would not stop. 

The governor accused some politicians of plans to heat up the polity in Enugu State through needless arguments about the power rotation arrangement that has not only been in existence in the state but is well enshrined in the constitution of the PDP.

According to ThisDayLIVE, the statesman speaking for the governor, said, “The Enugu people know that it has been a tradition to move the governorship from one Senatorial District to another. The power-sharing arrangement was not the making of Governor Ugwuanyi, but that of the founding fathers of the state. It is possible that some people want to destabilize the government in Enugu State, but as you can see our peace-loving governor has maintained his focus. Notable leaders and elder statesmen have spoken and the situation is clear that zoning exists and must continue to exist in the state.”

Proponents who are against this power rotation alignment are convinced that zoning did not start in 1999 as there had been no power rotation in the state. 

Another contention is that Enugu West Zone while having produced only one governor; that is Sullivan Chime, is behind the East which had produced Jim Nwobodo, C.C Onoh, and Chimaroke Nnamani who are all past governors of the state, and then Enugu North which had produced Nwodo and currently Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. 

With this analogy, they are convinced that the governorship power should return to the West but this is not a sufficient enough reason to offset the present flow of power.   

The proponents against this believe that power should instead return to the East to maintain equilibrium and continue the present political structure of the state championed by His Excellency Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

The Importance of Zoning in the State

The debate about power rotation in the 2023 election in Enugu State was on the 10th of April 2022 put to rest by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s Special Adviser (Media), Steve Oruoruo, who said the zoning arrangement was started by the forefathers must stand and would not stop.

He also said that the rotational governorship was well enshrined in the Constitution of the Peoples Democratic Party.

According to him, the clarification became necessary against the background of attempts by “a few overzealous politicians to heat up the polity in Enugu State through needless arguments” about the power rotation arrangement “that has not only been in existence in the state but well enshrined in the constitution of the PDP.” 

He said, “The Enugu people know that it has been a tradition to move the governorship from one Senatorial District to another. The power-sharing arrangement was not the making of Governor Ugwuanyi, but that of the founding fathers of the state.

“It is possible that some people want to destabilize the government in Enugu State, but as you can see our peace-loving governor has maintained his focus. Notable leaders and elder statesmen have spoken and the situation is clear that zoning exists and must continue to exist in the state.

“Peace and harmonious social co-existence mean the world to His Excellency, who, as a child of God has continued to restrain himself from joining issues with those whose stock in trade is stoking misunderstanding.”

Counter Opinions

A lot of prominent Enugu statesmen including Honorable Ekweremadu, a five-time Senator, thee-time Deputy President of Nigerian Senate as well as former Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, who has an interest in the governorship of the state is among one of many who have expressed dissatisfaction over the zoning issue. His reason is that one should be allowed to run for governor from any part of the state and should not be deprived necessarily because of his ethnic affiliation. Speaking with some reporters, Ekweremadu, Ekweremadu who represents Enugu West in the Senate comes from Aninri LGA of the Greater Awgu block of the state and listed his impressive repertoire of ll the political-economic moves he has been able to secure while active as a senator and deputy senate president. And he is convinced that he would be able to bring the same results to the table if he is elected into office.

While many might sympathize with this view, the continuance of power rotation which is being heralded by His Excellency Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is the reason why the state has maintained such a satisfactory atmosphere of peace for decades and has contributed to the progressive political atmosphere present in Enugu’s political structure.

Conclusion

Good governance has thrived in many countries which support power rotation such as Isreal and should be championed as a way of ending the dissatisfaction that comes from a particular cultural group holding power for too long. The crux of good leadership nestles on leaders willing to do the right thing irrespective of political affiliations and a willingness to balance the power structure and will put the City of Coal at the zenith of progressive change in the South East and beyond.

Sedo Elijah Ebinne writes from Enugu

Categories
Government Lifestyle Politics

Gburugburu at 58: The achievements of a Resource Manager

Nigeria has witnessed social and economic recessions over the past decade, and Enugu, one of its thirty-six states has consequently been affected. However, Enugu State hasn’t been any the worse for it, since she has been blessed with a governor who manages resources, turning crises into opportunities. The achievements of this resource manager will be listed in this article, celebrating his life which has been dedicated to service since his inauguration as governor of Enugu State.

The term, ‘manager of resources’ is not being used to refer to Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for the first time. As reported by Premium Times in March 2018, Okwesilieze Nwodo, the former, governor of old Enugu State has eulogized Gov. Ugwuanyi, and based on his leadership skills described him as a ‘fantastic manager’ of the state’s resources to change the course of his people’s living. This testimony has not only been given by the former governor of old Enugu State but it has been noted that Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, the Spiritual Director of AMEN has given a similar testimony about the governor, saying that ‘Enugu has never had a kind-hearted leader like Ugwuanyi.’ Concerning this also, the National President of the Messengers of Peace Foundation, Dr. Sulaiman Adejoh conferred the award of the ‘Most Peaceful Governor in Nigeria’ on Governor Ugwuanyi for his efforts in ensuring that ‘there is calmness in Enugu State and Nigeria by extension.’ These testimonies and the conferment are well-deserving as well as well-earned when we look into the achievements of the governor.

Marcus Tullius Cicero, a Roman statesman, philosopher, and lawyer who made notable contributions to Roman politics stated that the ‘safety of the people shall be the highest law.’ This postulation of his implies that the highest priority of a good leader lies in their ability to keep the people safe irrespective of the circumstances. Effective practice of democracy is observed in the decisions taken by the governor, whereby it is noted that the people are put first above every other factor. The problem of insecurity has plagued the country, Nigeria, and yet despite the economic recessions and instabilities over the years, a good part of the budget has been set aside to ensure peace and security. An instance is recalled in 2020 when there was a collision between Igbos and Hausas in Nsukka as a result of a misunderstanding. Judging by the history of violent disagreement between the two tribes, this misunderstanding would have led to a bloody clash had the governor not taken strategic steps to quickly compensate the casualties for their loss, rebuilding the vandalized Suya store at University Market Road, Nsukka as well as the mosque at Barracks.

 Another crisis notable mentioned that occurred in 2020 was COVID-19. This plague affected the world’s sociopolitical and economic affairs greatly, yet this governor found a way to manage the resources, ensuring that the workers were paid their salary throughout the period when a seat at home policies was being observed. He also took the necessary measures during this period, employing the services of the police to ensure that the virus didn’t spread like wildfire. 

In an article written by Irene Blinks which was published on Nigerian News on 7th June 2021, the governor listed some milestone achievements he had made within 6 years of his stay in office, and it is observed that these achievements spread across diverse areas of life, from the social to economic aspects. Some of these include: Up to date consistency in the payment of the new ₦30,000 minimum wage and payment on or before the 23rd of every month, implementation of 1,355 projects of various primary and secondary schools in Enugu, rehabilitation of facilities at Ajali and Opi River Water Supply Scheme, ongoing first state Flyover Bridge Project at T-junction, etc. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s ability to give attention to diverse areas could be attributed to his nickname, ‘Gburugburu’ which eulogizes him as an all-rounder.

Another proof of this nature of his is noted in his constant efforts to address the problems of both the urban and rural areas, ensuring that he bridges the gap between these two, as well as those of the upper and lower classes. Apart from the construction and rehabilitation of roads like Ikem-Neke-Mbu which has been linked to the Udenu local government, he has also gone ahead to begin a project of housing estates that would help salary-earning civil servants fulfill their dreams of being homeowners. Recently, news of the aesthetic stadium being constructed in Nsukka made the headline for weeks, and in addition to that, it was reported by the Vanguard that Enugu State Government has announced its plans to establish a second medical school in Nsukka, seeing the impossibility of extending Parklane to the town. This news has been well-received by all, for it would give medical students doing their internship programs the opportunity to have a place to practice, just as it would reduce the problem of poor medical services in Nsukka. If this project is pushed ahead, and the right technology and medical personnel are invested in it, it would go a long way to maintain good health in Nsukka just as it is in Enugu city.

Based on the above, it is obvious that the projects embarked on by the governor of Enugu State are put into thorough consideration first, and this says a lot about the brain behind this wise and innovative mindset. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi is indeed making waves in his period of governance, managing resources adequately, and carrying out unique projects in broad, diverse areas. He is true, ‘Gburugburu,’ and has earned the right to be celebrated. 

Written by Enema Oluchi

Categories
Economy Government Politics

Ugwuanyi’s Infrastructural Development: From housing units to construction of a new stadium

Basic facilities have been installed and constructed in Enugu State over the past decade, ranging from the construction of roads and bridges to the reconstruction of abandoned projects. Although there have also been other contributions in various sectors like education, where the Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB) has earned itself access to the Federal Government UBE fund, this article focuses on the infrastructural development in the state. 

At the first swearing-in of the Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, he pushed forward the notion of infrastructural development among other crucial issues as one of his four-point agenda, and notable achievements have been observed since then. Right from the outset, there was a universal approach to the construction of infrastructure which is evident in the construction of roads from Obechara road, Mechanic Village to Opi-Nsukka, etc.

There has also been an extension of Ituku Road, construction of bridges in Nkanu Local Government as well as the reconstruction of Neke-Mbu-Ogbodu-Aba-Obollo Etiti roads. These last connecting roads reduced the cost of fuel as well as time required to travel through these villages. The implication of this is that it fostered a peaceful relationship among these communities since they share a common road. It has been documented that the sum of not less than forty-five billion naira was spent on these roads, further proving that the best has been given to this project.

Similarly, the kind of productive thought put into the construction and reconstruction of roads in these communities was accorded to civil servants, where it was discovered that based on their salaries and responsibilities, a great percentage of them do not have the opportunity to ever own houses and end up paying rent till retirement. Having thought of how this creates both financial and social gaps between the upper and middle classes, the government of Enugu State came up with a way to bridge this gap, finding an answer to this in the creation of affordable housing units for civil servants. As reported by Vanguard on 30th June 2021, Enugu State has partnered with Alpha Mead Development Company (AMDC) to generate 750 housing units for civil servants which were affordable as well as serve as a means to help them fulfil their dreams of owning a house. It is important to note that this is the crucial dream of every hard-working individual.

In fulfilment of this, the Coal City View Satellite Estate was dedicated to giving civil servants and their families a good life, one which is usually only afforded by the rich. This luxurious lifestyle is accompanied by social and economic infrastructures, surrounded by wonderful amenities. In addition to these houses would be the construction of schools, medical facilities, shopping plaza, power supply and electricity which would accord them a stress-free lifestyle. 

It is quite important to note that the choice of Alpha Mead Development Company stems from a deep consideration of the best real estate development company in Nigeria which would have the ability to execute the project. They are the only real estate company in the country certified by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation’s EDGE-Advanced Standards. They are also certified by the ISO and have been known to execute projects properly, developing strong buildings with the best choice of facilities. 

As reported by Punch on 19th July 2021, the State Housing MD explained that another motive in building these houses is that it would aid in decongesting the center of Enugu, extending development to the city outskirts where this estate is located. The Punch newspaper also reported that 1,500 housing units are being developed through the State Housing Development Corporation in three senatorial districts. A payment period of 20-30 years has been planned to be given to the civil servants, to enable them to pay off gradually without feeling the impact. 

The last infrastructural development to be explored in this article is that of the 5000 seat capacity stadium being erected at Nsukka stadium. It has been noted that AstroTurf, Tartan Tracks, and seats have been installed, and the development is already above 90% due to its completion. To encourage grassroots sports development, this stadium would as well attract inter-regional and inter-state competitions in the future, making the Enugu State model and hallmark of excellence.

Written by Enema Oluchi

Categories
Government Politics

How Power Rotation has kept Enugu State safe

This piece summaries the last quarter theme highlighting what it means for the people of Enugu state and how it has contributed to a lasting peace and developmental strides.

The opening argument came from the article ”Need to Respect Power Rotation in Enugu State by Vera Igwilo” in it she argues that the administration of Dr. Chimaroke Ogbonnaya Nnamani of Enugu-east (Nkanu’s portion) Senatorial District, who served from 1999 to 2007, was the first to distribute power in Enugu State. Barr. Sullivan Iheanacho Chime of Enugu-west (Udi’s part) Senatorial District, who served from 2007 to 2015, was the next in line. The current government of Enugu-north (Nsukka’s portion) Senatorial District Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, whose term began in 2015 and is set to conclude in 2023. Since 1999, indigenous peoples in the three senatorial districts have enjoyed a fair amount of representation in the office. Not only were people appointed, but zones were also given power and authority.

As a result, this approach has shown to be beneficial to both the party (PDP) and the entire state of Enugu in ensuring an enabling atmosphere for the state’s development goals. It is also obvious that this structure does not begin and end at the federal and state levels. This technique, however informal, was effective in the PDP’s bid for governor of Enugu State; observations also show that the system’s effectiveness prompted other political parties in the state to emulate it.
Chinweokwu Ukwueze in his article Nigeria at 61: How Rotation of Power is ensuring Enugu’s consistent developmental strides writes that one of the ways Enugu state has been able to maintain its phenomenal growth and development is by keeping peace in the state, which experts think is the most important condition for any state to have continual growth and development. “There can be no progress of any kind in an atmosphere that is bereft of peace or plagued by terrible outbreaks of violence.” The founding fathers discussed and agreed to maintain the rotation of authority among the state’s component divisions or zones, as it was done in the former Anambra State, to preserve peace and equality. Of course, this was done not simply to maintain equity, but also to assure the state’s continued peace and progress. Some parts of the population might feel marginalized in other states. Enugu State, on the other hand, is a different story.

One of the reasons why the Enugu State Governance has relied on rotational politics as a form of government since 1999 is to ensure that development reaches all of the state’s zones. As a result of Nigerian politics, politicians prefer to work more for their constituents, which is seen in Enugu State as well. Any governor elected works more in his district or in areas with which he is more familiar. As a result, development and growth are distributed throughout the state, and the state develops uniformly.
The last feature titled Power Rotation in Enugu State: Going Beyond Democracy by Enema Oluchi examines how The organizational framework of power rotation in Enugu State has enabled a seamless transition of power, proper representation of the masses, and taking the minority into account in the same way as the majority over the years. It has gone beyond democracy to meet the needs of the people.

The meritocracy vs. rotation debate has been debated several times, with the notion that rotating power in government removes the focus on who deserves it and promotes regionalism and sentimentalism.

However, it is critical to study the State’s as well as the country’s structure first. Nigeria is made up of several ethnic groupings, just like Enugu State is made up of various senatorial zones. Power rotation is unavoidable until Nigeria is reorganized, argues Olu Fasan in Vanguard. This is due to the country’s governmental system, which perpetuates a historic power imbalance in which one ethnic group dominates the other.
Enugu State would have faced the same dilemma if this rotation of power had not been the unwritten standard from its creation. In Enugu State, the people no longer talk about one group or zone dominating another since everyone is given equal attention. The significance of this power rotation may be compared to the requirement for traffic lights to be installed at intersections where many roads join together. These three distinct zones are populated by individuals of varied cultures and dialects who are unified by a single government.
The necessity for a turn-taking regulation is critical, as is the requirement to prevent accidents, which is a critical need that traffic lights provide.

Categories
Economy Government Politics

The Legal Justification of The Anti-Grazing Law of Enugu State, Part 1

Human rights have been expressed as the inalienable rights of humans all over the world. Under this, the protection and preservation of human rights is a duty that should be steadfastly performed by Countries all over the world. Nigeria is not left out in the performance of its duty to uphold the human rights of its citizens. In the discharge of her solemn duty to preserve the human rights of her citizens,

Section 33 to Section 44 of the 1999 Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended provides for the protection of the human rights of Nigerian citizens. The continued existence of any society is hinged on the existence of laws to regulate human behaviour. Again, in the realization of the indispensable nature of laws to societal growth, Nigeria has over time; enacted laws to not only regulate human conduct but also to protect the lives and interests of citizens. Among the plethora of laws enacted in Nigeria include the various Anti-Grazing Laws of some states in Nigeria. In a nutshell, these anti-grazing laws seek to grind to a halt, the numerous violent clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria. Most of these herders are originally from the Fulani tribe with a specialization in cattle rearing. In the process of doing this, however, they chance upon other people’s property and while many of these herders may be ignorant, this is trespass.

In northern Nigeria where the attorney-general and most herdsmen hail from, Section 342 of the Penal Code (applicable to Northern Nigeria) provides that: “Whoever enters into or upon property in the possession of another with intent to commit an offence or to intimidate, insult or annoy a person in possession of that property, or, having lawfully entered into or upon that property, unlawfully remains there with intent thereby to intimidate, insult or annoy such person or with intent to commit an offence, is said to commit criminal trespass.”

The effects of unchecked cattle grazing have brought a lot of harm to a lot of farmers in areas in Nigeria, such as states in southern Nigeria and southwestern states such as Oyo and Osun, who get their crops damaged and lives threatened by herdsmen, some of who are insistent on farming on properties that do not belong to them.

Most recently, the executive governor of Enugu State, His Excellency Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi passed a law prohibiting grazing activities by cattle herders at the Enugu State House of Assembly.

Speaking on the issue, the Leader of the House, Rt. Hon. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu had explained after the passage of the bill, that it would be cited as the “Prohibition of Open Grazing and Cattle Ranching Law of Enugu State” after the governor’s assent.

The passing of this bill became imperative because of the countless clashes of herdsmen and citizens of various towns in Nigeria and would enhance peace and security in the state.

Earlier in the year, the Ondo state governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, speaking on the anti-grazing law he intended to pass cited two very relevant laws, which would allow him to declare an ultimatum on cattle herders to exit Government Reserved Forests.  

The Laws are the Land Use Act of 1978 and the Trade Cattle

Tax Law of Ondo. And though the latter was promulgated in 1969, before the creation of the state, a 2006 amended version would still suffice.

 “Section 1 of the said Land Use Act categorically states that “…all land comprised in the territory of State in the Federation are hereby vested in the Governor of that State and such land shall be administered for the use and common the benefit of all Nigerians under the provisions of this Act.”

 Section 12 (1) of the same Act also states that:

“It shall be lawful for the Governor to grant a licence to any person to enter upon any land…” while subsection 5 thereof clearly states that “The Governor may cancel any such licence if the licensee fails to comply with any of the conditions of the licence.”

And while entrance into one’s property in absence of permission is actionable trespass, permission to enter into the land to carry out any activity rests in the discretion of the governor of the state. In addition to this, 1999 the constitution protects the provisions of the Land Use Act from any contradictory enactment thus:

“Section 315(5) of the Constitution specifically states that nothing in the Constitution shall invalidate enactments listed under items “a” to “d” thereof, one of which is the Land Use Act.

What this means is that nothing in the constitution can invalidate the provisions of the Land Use Act including the fundamental human rights provision.

This human rights violation has been cited as a reason why the anti-grazing law will not fly; the particular provision being the freedom of movement. Where one man’s right ends another begins is a popular adage that would greatly influence the perspective of one regarding this anti-grazing issue.

 However, the antagonists of the anti-grazing bill of various states in Nigeria state this as a reason for the continued destruction of land and farmland by the unhindered and unchecked activities of cattle herders in Nigeria. This provision however will not suffice.

The second law is the Trade Cattle Tax Law of Ondo State, which was promulgated as far back as 1969, with a commencement date of 3rd July 1969. The Law is contained in Chapter (Cap.) 153, Vol. 4, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006, as amended. 

Written by Sedo Elijah Ebinne

Categories
Government Politics

Power Rotation in Enugu State: Going Beyond Democracy

Democracy is seen as a system of government, in which the ultimate political authority is vested in the people, based on the majority rule, with the rights of the minority protected. The dictionary defines it as the ‘government by the people in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.’ However, in a case where the rights of the minority are merely being ‘protected’ and the same majority keeps having the opportunity to rule based on their population, then it could be seen that the most effective approach to representing everyone is through power rotation, and this is an unwritten rule in Enugu State government.

Rotation in government involves turn-taking in power, a system that ensures that in a particular state, country or community, every zone is represented periodically. It usually works in places divided into regions, preventing a particular region from being marginalised. In Enugu State which is divided into three senatorial zones: Enugu-North, Enugu-West and Enugu-East, this rotational method has been employed since its inception in 1991 and has maintained peaceful governance for two decades.

While Democracy, the system of government practised in Nigeria ensures majority rule and minority rights, it does not make provision for a minority rule as well, which from historical experience always leads to rebellious activities from the minority. Instances are properly drawn from Nigeria herself, where during the reign of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Niger Delta was given close attention, compensated for the pollution and other damage caused by oil spillage in their land and water. Comparing the Niger Delta at that time, to the subsequent years when they had no one to represent them gives the proper answer.

In Enugu State, before the governorship of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Enugu-North while awaiting their turn in the power rotation felt neglected in the allocation of resources and started to clamour for Adada state, where they hoped to have their government and solve the problem being faced. However, as soon as they became represented in 2015, the difference became clear as it could be observed in the reconstruction of roads and other projects embarked on by the current governor. 

The argument of meritocracy overpower rotation has been tackled so many times, with the point that rotation of power in government does away with the focus on who merits it, and advocates for regionalism and sheer sentimentalism. However, it is first of all important that the structure of the State as well that of the country are closely examined. Nigeria is a country made of different ethnic groups, just as Enugu State is made up of different senatorial zones. As Olu Fasan writes in Vanguard, power rotation is inevitable until Nigeria is restructured. This is because the political structure of the country entrenches a historical power imbalance in which one ethnic group dominates the other. 

Had this rotation of power not been the unwritten norm in Enugu State since its inception, it would have been facing the same problem as well. Now, in Enugu State, we do not talk about a group or a zone dominating the other since everyone is equitably represented with time. The importance of this power rotation could be likened to the need for the installation of traffic lights for diverse roads which come together to meet at a point of intersection. These three different zones are made up of different people with various cultures and dialects, although united by one government. The need to place a turn-taking rule is very important, just as they need to prevent accidents from occurring is a dire need which traffic lights fulfil. 

However, it is quite important to note that irrespective of power rotation being observed, it is laced with meritocracy as well, because the different zones are not represented by anyone who declares their intention, but produce individuals well-fitted for the job of serving the people. A tour to the last decade of Enugu State is proof of this, the physical beauty of the state speaking for itself. The governor who has sat in power in the past ten years, Barr. Sullivan Chime and Barr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has both proven that meritocracy is considered within the zone, that the people are properly represented by the right individuals whose major concern is to serve them.

The organisational structure of rotation of power in Enugu State has over the years ensured a smooth transition of power, adequate representation of the masses, taking the minority into the same consideration according to the majority. It has gone beyond democracy to accommodate the people.

written by Enema Oluchi

Categories
Economy Government Politics

Enugu joins Lagos as States with Impressive IGR, grows 27% of Federation Account Allocations (FAA)

Understanding Internal Generated Revenue – IGR

According to the IOSR Journal of Economics and Finance, internally generated revenue (IGR) is revenue generated by local governments within their jurisdiction. The ability of local governments to make money internally is one of the most important considerations in forming a local council. Note These imports from various sources within the territory are PAYE, road taxes, direct valuations, fines, licenses, investments and include taxes such as royalties and fees for government assets. Internally generated imports (IGRs) are primarily generated income within the Federation of Nigeria, regardless of the share of income earned in the federation’s account. 

 The economic struggle continued and new demands were raised for the Nigerian government to diversify its economy in the oil and gas sector. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s reliance on its oil sector is critical, and the impact of Nigeria’s declining oil imports is damaging with repercussions beyond the federal government. Experts believe that state governments, which rely primarily on statutory allocations from federal accounts, have found that their ability to provide the most basic public services (education, health, etc.) 

 Considering Nigeria’s severe economic downturn caused by falling oil prices in the international oil market. The federal quota accruing to the state has significantly reduced the previous level. Oti, Odigbo and Odey (2016) stated that the instability of oil revenues from the oil market is one of the main causes of concern about the state’s reliance on federal revenues. Therefore, state governments seek ways to increase internally generated income to increase coalition quotas. Dang, Bako and Ishiya (2015) recently confirmed that mobilization of federal accounts was hardly sufficient to meet the country’s immediate needs. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the state government to internally seek ways to mobilize more internally generated revenues.

Enugu state’s IGR keeps growing

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) at the State level for the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) fell to N612.87 billion between January and June 2020 compared to N693.91bn recorded in half-year (H1) 2019. This indicates a negative growth of 11.7 per cent year-on-year. While revenue from taxes accrued to the sum of N528 billion (86.28 per cent), revenue from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) alone represent 13.72 per cent of the total half-year IGR.

The decline economist believe is due to the effects of the covid-19 pandemic on the various states of the federation, as they were forced to implement lockdown protocols to curb the spread of the disease in the country.

 Similarly, on a quarter-on-quarter basis, the Q2 2020 IGR figure for states and FCT declined by 26.5 per cent to N259.73 billion in Q1 2020 from N353.14 billion recorded in Q1 2019. Comparing the Q2 2020 figure to the corresponding quarter (2019), the IGR had dropped by 33.63 per cent from N391.32 billion.

The severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic has brought to bear an adverse effect on the revenue generation power of the Nigerian government which over the past months has recorded a tepid growth in its total collected revenues across the states of the federation.

This is why there were jubilations when the fifth Annual States Viability Index, ASVI of The Economic Confidential report declared that Enugu has an IGR of N23bn compared to Federation Account Allocations (FAA) of N87bn representing 27% joining Lagos as one of the ten states with impressive IGR. Other states in this category include Ondo, Rivers, Ogun, Kaduna, Oyo and Anambra. The index carefully and painstakingly computed proved that without the monthly disbursement from the Federation Account Allocation Committee, FAAC, many states remain not viable, and cannot survive without the federally collected revenue, mostly from the oil sector.

What does this mean for Enugu State?

Mr Iheanyi Igboko, the Director Centre for Memories Enugu says “means that Enugu state is starting to create a more entrepreneurial/ Business-friendly environment” this welcoming feeling is what keeps ensures steady flow and exchange of market. Among other things this flow needs to be studied that way, both the people and the government can understand the factors at work. Enugu state is one state in the southeast that can boast of a viable Small Medium Entrepreneur Centre, measurable Technological innovation, the sustained university community and an emerging entertainment scene.  

According to Victor Ejechi a Data Analyst with The Cable Newspaper It also means that Enugu State can become like Lagos if only they will still look inward and take the opportunity of other means to create revenue in the state, which in turn will increase the IGR of the state.  

Enugu can be a self-sustaining state says Mr Chima Ozuzu, the Assistant IT Audit Manager PwC. “it also means Enugu has diversified its revenue-generating channels beyond traditional sources that are impacted by Covid -19. For investors, it shows that there are a variety of viable business types.

Written by Alexander C. Nwusulor

Categories
Education Government Lifestyle Politics

Gov. Ugwuanyi’s Six Years of Laudable Democracy in Enugu State

The timeless expression that no nation or state has ever achieved virtuosic and remarkable feats without the strenuous efforts of some dedicated, selfless, and goal-driven legends who took upon themselves, the pains and inconveniences associated with the development and holistic transformation of their society is only reiterative, indisputable, immutable and at the risk of repeating the known.

Within the microcosm of their historical epoch, these selfless leaders saw the alleviation of their people’s plights as the ultimate sacrifice and price to be borne by them by all means.

This set of pathfinders are, however, rare to encounter especially in a world distorted with the antics of individualism, capitalism, and commodification of the commonwealth for personal aggrandizement.

The above analytic description is true of the Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyichukwu Ugwuanyi. This is basically true when a critical review of governance is launched into his administrative style of leadership since his ascendance to power as the Governor of the state in 2015.

Categories
Economy Education Government

The Economic future of Enugu Youths

The future, they say, belongs to the youth, hence the saying that young people are the leaders of tomorrow.

With the above quote, how prepared is the future of Enugu state?

Enugu state has a youthful population “Enugu State had a population of 3,267,837 people at the census held in 2006 (estimated at over 3.8 million in 2012, 4.4 million in 2016)”, this is due to factors like high and rising number of tertiary institutions, a relatively active entertainment scene and seeming scenes of a progressive but affordable city.

Bearing in mind the available statistics, one would ask what the forecast is for the economic future of Enugu hopeful. In past administrations, there have been efforts to groom the potential that the state holds economically.

With its conception in 2005, the MSME policies facilitated the need for state SME centres. The intention was to provide a one-stop-shop for resources and aid needed by small business owners all over Nigeria. The initiative was welcome, and the agency was set up in Enugu, known as the Enugu SME Centre.

Since its inception, they seem to have had little to no effect on the young ones till recently.

But the question remains, what is the economic future of the youths in Enugu state?

The present administration has pioneered a new direction for the Agency, its target being the growth of a knowledge-based and technology-friendly economy. Part of this strategy was to push for PPP-powered and a triple helix model of development.