Shock Value

Shock Value

The Nigerian economy, like any other, experiences “shocks”— events or policy decisions that can send a ripple of changes through the system. This column zooms in on these ripples in a range of sectors to explore how and why these shocks matter.

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Taxes: the Price of Good Governance

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi is an avid reader seeking insights in unexpected places. Her research interests include economic development, political economy and trade.

From multiple reports about the trillions that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has generated in tax revenues, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) promise to crack down on tax evasion, the Nigerian government appears to finally be taking tax collection seriously.

While public officials may view this as progress,  it is not clear why Nigerians should consider this a happy development. As we provide our own electricity, water and security, it is only reasonable to ask what our taxes will pay for. Why should a government with a poor record of managing oil revenues be allowed to dip its hands into our pockets? 

Interestingly, the answer may be accountability. What if more taxes could create a better government? 

 

Linking Taxes and Accountability

The link between taxes and governance comes from understanding what brings about accountability. On the supply side, the government must be willing to be transparent if it must be accountable. This is an area that has already been given a lot of attention.

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