The Lagos State government has banned the sponsorship of pilgrims to either Mecca or Jerusalem as was practiced by previous administrations.
This comes on the heels of the state’s tightening up of fiscal management especially in the area of tax collection.
According to the governor “In this day and time when we are talking about paucity of funds coupled with inhibiting challenges that the government has to take care of. We can no-longer afford to spend the sum of one million on one single individual to go on pilgrimage when the scripture did not compel anyone to do so”.
“So it is a most irresponsible way of spending tax payer’s money. That is why the government has taken a solid decision that we will be accountable and responsible for every kobo that the tax payers pay to the government. It is an injustice for the government to be spending millions on [small] groups of people when millions of Lagosians are yearning for government’s attention”.
This only goes to reinforce on the one hand, the governor’s seriousness on Internally Generated Revenue, and also on the need to show transparency in government.
It may be recalled that the governor announced during the week that all classes of gainfully employed residents in Lagos can expect to be taxed. While this did not meet with widespread acceptance, it is the norm in every modern society. What is also the norm is for tax paying citizens to query ALL controversial expenses undertaken by the government.
With the recent pronouncements from Alausa, it would appear then that the governor is inviting scrutiny and fuller citizens’ involvement in his government. The ban of the sponsorship of pilgrims from Lagos is a welcome development and certainly bodes well for Ambode.
“Pay unto Caesar…” – the governor continues to show political savvy in governance, deftly utilizing religion, technology, modern economics and plain common sense in his role as leaders.
Contributing Article: http://www.nigerianeye.com