The Nigerian Labour Congress has tentatively flagged off its good governance campaign with the announcement that it plans to host an inaugural National Civil Society Summit in 2016.
The hint was contained in a media statement issued by Comrade Ayuba Wabba, President NLC, according to him: “In the New Year, we shall intensify our campaign for good governance side by side with our battle against corruption. The national leadership of Congress had long before now acknowledged the fact that the performance of most of our political office holders across the various layers of the governance structure has been less than satisfactory.
“As a result, we had pledged to “institute a mechanism of accountability and assessment of all public office holders”. We promised to work with professional bodies and other credible organizations to make these assessments and publicize them annually.
“Before the end of the first quarter of 2016, the Congress shall convene a National Civil Society Summit. The summit will, among other issues, address how trade unions, professional bodies, religious organisations, market men and women organisations, students and youth bodies, other mass organizations and civil society bodies attending the summit can fashion out ways of holding our political leadership at all levels accountable and responsive to the developmental aspirations of our people.
Comrade Wabba, disclosed that the summit will also agree on mechanisms for developing a scorecard for cabinet ministers and for state governors on good governance index that will subsequently be released every December.
“The summit will also (hopefully working with the Nigerian Bar Association as lead), devise ways in which we can ensure that the use of existing loopholes in our justice system to prevent treasury looters to evade justice for upward of seven to ten years as is currently being witnessed in the country, are identified and blocked.
Also, as a way of boosting internally generated revenue (IGR) and cushioning the effects of falling oil prices in the international market, the Congress has advised both the federal and state governments to impose and collect taxes on properties in the country.
Wabba lamented that there are several estates built all over the country unoccupied, adding that such estates were proceeds of illicit deals.
He said: “Our business elite and multinational companies are notorious for evading taxes. The federal and states revenue services need to step up their game by identifying those that had not been paying taxes and get them to do so efficiently in the New Year.
“Government needs to impose property tax on the several hundreds of flashy estates and other structures in Abuja and several state capitals across the country. Some of these structures have laid unoccupied for years, making us to believe that they are properties developed with laundered funds.”