I Will Use Innovation to Reduce the Citizens’ Tax Burden – Azubogu

A governorship aspirant on the platform of the people’s Democratic Party, PDP, Hon Chris Azubogu, says he will leverage on innovation and technology to avoid the citizens being overtaxed, reports Jude Atupulazi.

Speaking with Fides in Nnewi, Azubogu who represents Nnewi North and South in the House of Representatives, said once innovation and technology were brought in, wastages would be blocked, with proper transparency and accountability being put up.

Azubogu who said internally generated revenue, IGR, had an important role to play in any economy, said that over taxation and double taxation killed the economy.

In his words, ‘You need to sit down and look at both state and federal tax; make sure that people are not multi-taxed and taxation is not abused; and as a person, you can increase IGR by your performance as a government; you offer services to people and people can willingly pay what is due to government.

‘And also, when you leverage on innovation and technology, you block wastages and once you are putting up proper transparency and accountability; that is, putting up good governance, people can easily know that monies meant for the people are being utilized. IGR is what you conscientise citizens with for them to willingly pay.’

On what he would bring to the table as the governor of Anambra State, Azubogu said his government would begin with what he called core aspects of government policies, public policy and governance.

‘I have been in the legislature for close to ten years now and I have understood the constitutional framework of the country; how the national government functions, how the state government functions. In statistics, there is what we call a set and a subset. Anambra State is a subset of the set called Nigeria, and if you must function well, you have to understand how the main set works.

‘My understanding of the way Nigeria works will help to make sure that the sub-national part of it, which is Anambra State, will function well. And my working with Anambra State before I went to the national, made me to identify key areas where a government to government collaboration between Anambra State and federal government will bring faster development for Anambra State,’ he said, adding that he would draw from his experience at the level of the national assembly, which, he said, made him a critical part of the federal government.

‘My role in the national assembly has made me to be part of the federal government by our services, because we understand the federal government and we work with MDAs (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) and we’ve understood some of the MDAs that can work in collaboration with Anambra State that will drive both national and sub-national policies to merge it together so that Anambra will benefit faster.

‘In the area of infrastructure, we’ve understood how to drive infrastructural development. We have spent a lot of time because these are the key drivers of the economic growth. They are the stimulants, the catalysts for growth. Not only that, I have good understanding of Anambra State and its challenges. I know what needs to be done so that we can quickly develop.

‘One of the key things that can stimulate growth and bring about development in Anambra is driving the key infrastructures, starting with transportation infrastructure, the power infrastructure, the housing, the communication infrastructure, then the three most important infrastructures,’ he said, assuring that he would also improve on the security architecture of the state.

‘We have done well in security generally, but we need to improve on it so that the cost of securing the state will drop, then it will increase efficiently because we are going to leverage on a lot of innovation and technology to improve on security. Soft system; not hard. Then, we are going to work seriously on our organizational content and also work on our health sector; there are improvements that we are going to bring in: collaborations.

‘Going further, we will begin to interrogate all these areas because there are key superstructures that will carry the general ones. Then, we have to do a lot of things, maybe, in the areas of development, entertainment, creative industry, but generally, put together, we are not launching ours; there are key sectors which we have conversation with because we participated in them,’ Azubogu said.