The Oluwo of Iwo, HIM Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, has advised government at all levels to co-opt traditional rulers in tax collection in order to boost government revenue.
The monarch said that monarchs were the leaders closest to the grassroots and noted that the move would translate to more effective revenue collection which will in turn translate to more funds in government coffers for developmental projects.
Stating that tax is one of the primary sources of finance for every government, Oba Akanbi prayed government to deploy trusted and respected monarchs to intermediate between the government and tax payers. According to him, doing so will boost government coffers for developmental projects.
In a statement by the palace press secretary, Mr. Alli Ibraheem, which was made available to journalists, the Oluwo expressed concern over the neglect of traditional rulers in revenue collection, a negation of what obtained in the country’s earlier democracy, saying the prevailing situation has caused immeasurable setback to successive administrations and to the nation as a whole.
The release further noted the readiness of many monarchs to assist in the matter but that they were deterred the government’s unwillingness.
“Monarchs are the closest rulers to the grassroots. Many of us are trusted and respected by the people. They see us as fathers, listen and follow our instructions. Whatever we say is authority without questioning.
“There is no other authority trusted like traditional rulers. We are more trusted than the government and people listen more to us. Monarchs in the past were key actors in tax collection. They were co-opted because people trusted them more than any other authority.
“Today, there are still trusted monarchs. I`m one. My people listen to me because I serve them. They listen to me more than the government. One of the means we can assist the government is to serve as intermediary in tax collection but there should be regularised platform to manage the process,” it said.