194 views | Akanimo Sampson | November 10, 2020
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has renewed agitation for fiscal federalism in Nigeria with his administration’s fresh destruction of 1,975,000 bottles of beer in 20 trucks.
The destroyed consignment of beer is worth N200 million according to the Kano State Hisbah Board which oversaw the destruction.
Critics are saying the Ganduje administration does not have a moral high ground to collect “federal allocations” from Abuja that makes revenue and taxes from the sale of alcohol and beer in the mostly southern states of Nigeria.
Since the Value Added Tax (VAT) derived from the beer business in other states is being shared as allocation to Kano State, concerned citizens are arguing that the system of monkey dey work, baboon dey chop is inimical to Nigeria’s national growth.
According to them, since this injustice cannot continue, ‘’we need a true fiscal federalism’’.
Fiscal federalism is, however, financial relations between units of governments in a federal government system. It is part of the broader public finance discipline. The term was introduced by the German-born American economist Richard Musgrave in 1959. Fiscal federalism deals with the division of governmental functions and financial relations among levels of government.
For the Director of the School of Public Administration at the University of Central Florida, United States of America, Prof. Naim Kapucu, in his contributions to SAGE Publications’ Encyclopedia of Governance (2007), the theory of fiscal federalism assumes that a federal system of government can be efficient and effective at solving problems governments face today, such as just distribution of income, efficient and effective allocation of resources, and economic stability.
According to Kapucu, ‘’economic stability and just distribution of income can be done by federal government because of its flexibility in dealing with these problems. Because states and localities are not equal in their income, federal government intervention is needed. Allocation of resources can be done effectively by states and local governments.
‘’Musgrave argued that the federal or central government should be responsible for the economic stabilization and income redistribution but the allocation of resources should be the responsibility of state and local governments.
‘’The following are benefits of fiscal decentralisation: regional and local differences can be taken into account; lower planning and administrative costs; competition among local governments favours organisational and political innovations, and more efficient politics as citizens have more influence.
‘’There are several disadvantages of fiscal federalism as well: the lack of accountability of state and local governments to constituents; the lack of availability of qualified staff; the possibility for people to choose where to reside; a certain degree of independence of the local governments from the national government; and unavailability of infrastructure of public expenditure at the local level.
‘’Fiscal federalism is affected by the relationship between levels of government and thus by the historical events that shape this relationship. For instance, in the early years of American federalism, geographic separation, slow communication, and clear division of labour made it possible for each level of government to function without significant interactions with other levels.
‘’Several developments resulted in more interactions and central planning among the levels of government: improvement in transportation and communication technologies; the New Deal of the 1930s; the World Wars and the Cold War; and the war against poverty from the 1960s.
‘’National fiscal policies and financial decisions have been the predominant vehicle forming intergovernmental relations. Fiscal federalism operates through the various federal taxes, grants, and transfers that occur in addition to states and localities.
‘’The federal government regulates, subsidises, taxes, provides goods and services, and redistributes income. In federal systems like that of the United States, fiscal policies have also sought to empower the states through deregulation.’’
However, the destruction exercise was carried out at Kalebawa in Dawakin Tofa Local Government Area of the state by Governor Ganduje. Speaking at the event, Ganduje represented by his Deputy, Dr. Nasiru Yusuf Gawuna, said that consumption of alcohol and all other intoxicants can distort the mental capability of a person is forbidden in Islam.
In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Hassan Musa Fagge quoted Ganduje as saying that the Hisbah Board was established with the aim of preventing evil social acts in the society.
He explained that as part of his administration’s effort of enhancing the welfare of the Hisbah, before this year 2020 runs out, there would be a salary increase and new uniform for the security unit.
“My administration is proud of the way you discharge your duties..therefore I wish to urge all stakeholders to continue give you all the support you need to succeed”, the governor said.
In his remarks, the Commander General, Kano State Hisbah Board, Sheikh Harun Muhammad Ibn Sina said that the beer confiscated is worth over N200 million. He further said that the board got a court order to destroy over 20 trucks of alcohol.