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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Can Nigerian local government councils autonomously impose rates?
Author:Achara, R.A.C.E.
Periodical:Journal of African Law
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:central-local government relations
revenue allocation
local government
local finance
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/30038564
Abstract:Having been elected from the same pool from which State and federal officials have emerged, it might, on the face of it, seem rather unjustifiable to deny local government council (LGC) officials in Nigeria the autonomous tax imposition authority, which is ordinarily inherent in any government. But this is what the 1999 Constitution seems to have done. However, the 1999 Constitution has used words made ambiguous by their historically varying content such that even the Supreme Court has been misled. Because of the drafter's attempt to create a three-tier federation while at the same time retaining the traditional two-tier constitutional structure for allocation of federalist power, the drafting has led to the impression that LGCs may 'impose', rather than merely 'collect', rates or any other such taxes by their own authority. This article attempts to discover the character and consequences of this hermeneutic problem, the apparent misconceptions that have led to it, and the doctrinal and historical approaches the courts may adopt for its solution. To return the courts to the right path, the article proffers historical approaches for clarification of the conceptual haze. It concludes that, although the Nigerian constitution allows a delegation of rating power to LGCs, contrary to the current position of the Supreme Court, this rating authority is not autonomous. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]