Taxation, Good Governance and Service Delivery in Nigeria: A Legal Perspective

Kwaghkehe Ierkwagh, Christopher Hia


Globally, modern constitutions impose responsibilities on the state to ensure the well-being of the citizenry, while the citizen is under certain obligations to perform, including payment of taxes. This arrangement is part of the historical social contract between the state and its citizen. Nigeria is not an exception to these global standards. Consequently, though not justiciable, the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy has been entrenched in Chapter II of the Constitution, while the Fundamental Human Rights which are enforceable are provided for in Chapter IV of the Constitution. However, under the present dispensations, the state has demonstrated obvious barrenness in performing her part of the social contract. Insecurity, corruption, unemployment and other similar vices are the order of the day. In cases of insecurity, the Federal Government appears to maintain organised silence while in others, it does appear that the government is deeply involved. The issues that arise from the foregoing, therefore are whether the citizen is still under obligation to pay tax, and allegiance to such insensitive and least trusted state. Through the doctrinal approach, this paper has identified the lacuna in our system of public law which prevents a public spirited taxpayer through the outdated technical rules of locus standi from challenging the government to account for revenue collected. The paper therefore recommends that Section 6(6) (c) which oust the jurisdiction of the court on Chapter II be expunged from the Constitution, and that the taxpayer must vote such governments out of office. But to be able to stand on his feet to challenge the government, the citizen must pay his tax.

Keywords: Taxation, Governance, Service, Delivery, Perspective

DOI: 10.7176/JLPG/99-10

Publication date:July 31st 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3240 ISSN (Online)2224-3259

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