Government to launch project-tracking app
Plans are underway by the Federal Government to develop a web app to assist Nigerians to monitor development projects across the country.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, disclosed this in Abuja, adding that citizens’ participation in governance and tracking service delivery of projects in their communities is now a major concern for the government.
To ensure transparency and accountability in the delivery of government’s capital projects countrywide, he said: “The Budget and National Planning arm of the ministry is working on a Web App – the Eye Mark – that will assist citizens to ‘eye mark’ and report on government’s projects and programmes ‘earmarked’ for their communities.”
To do this, Nigerian citizens will use their mobile phones, in “real-time” to monitor the level of progress on capital projects sited in their communities.
Providing more insight into how the web app will work, the Minister said: “The app is about 90 per cent developed and the government requires the active participation in the process of tying budget provisions to projects and getting time value of money earmarked for capital projects as governance is a collective responsibility by all citizens.”
Agba also disclosed that the financing of the National Development Plans 2021 – 2025 (NDP) would rely heavily on domestic resources mobilisation, especially, from non-oil sources.
He stressed that Nigerians have critical roles to play in finding innovative ways to reform tax administration and raise public revenue to effectively finance the Plan.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said all revenues, earned or lost from all tiers of governments and their MDAs, would now form part of Nigeria’s tax to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio.
FIRS declared that the approach the country has been using in the past to arrive at the tax to GDP ratio was inaccurate.
Executive Chairman of the FIRS, Muhammed Nami, made this disclosure in Abuja at a symposium on ‘taxation and the challenges of external shocks: Lessons and policy options for Nigeria’ and the launch of the FIRS Contact Centre.
With the Contact Centre now operational, taxpayers can seek assistance like enquiries, complaints, challenges, and technical questions, follow up and feedback from dedicated FIRS channels.
Nami noted: “In as much as the country needs to continually and conscientiously put measures in place to improve such a concern, there is also the need to comprehensively bring all the national and sub-national revenue sources into consideration to properly and appropriately determine the correct and meaningful tax-to-GDP ratio for the country.
“The current basis for its computation, which mostly focuses on the taxes administered at the federal level and leaving out other sources of revenue being generated by the Federal, States and Local governments and their MDAs, does not truly reflect its correct standing,” he said.
When implemented, he said the new tax to GDP ratio will align Nigeria with global best practices in reporting public finance and will ensure a more transparent and more accurate picture of the country’s tax-to-GDP ratio.