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A Proposal For Tackling Nigeria's Revenue, Security, Employment, Economic, And Development Crises, An Open Letter To Nigerian Leaders.

By Abitunde Taiwo
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An open letter to His Excellency President Buhari, His Excellency Vice President Osinbajo, Distinguished Senate President Lawan, and The Honorable Speaker Gbajabiamila.

Our dear leaders,
Thank you very much for taking the bold step of accepting the responsibility of leadership in the nation.

I commiserate with you on the unfortunate loss of lives in the country recently and also agonize with you on the many challenges that the country faces.

I am writing to you to humbly suggest a new approach by which our national problems can be tackled: A sharing of the weight and responsibility of governance with the Nigerian people worldwide.

1. First and foremost is a need for a structural change in government. The current architecture of governance should be changed to reflect the wishes of the people. The 2014 national conference should be implemented as the architecture of governance as it reflects the wishes of the Nigerian people. Is that not what democracy is about?

2.Taxation of Nigerian people worldwide is needed to augment the current grossly inadequate revenue profile. If the richest country in the world, USA, taxes the income of its citizens worldwide, why not Nigeria?

3. However, taxation of Nigerians in the Diaspora should include voting rights. Nigerians in the Diaspora should be encouraged to become actively engaged in MSMEs in the private sector of the economy, in MDAs, in local, state, and federal governments and in our research institutes, universities, polytechnics and colleges of education and agriculture.

4. Remuneration of politicians should be cut to encourage compliance with taxation requirements of Nigerians worldwide.

5. I humbly suggest a stratified taxation structure. One for Nigerians at home, and a second for Nigerians in the Diaspora.

6. Because many Nigerians in Diaspora pay over 20% in income tax in their resident countries, I recommend a flat 3% Diaspora tax: 1% each to the federal, state, and local government of origin in Nigeria.

7. I guesstimate a scenario that with compliance, $8 billion US dollars(N16 trillion naira) will accrue to each tier of government for a total of $24 billion US dollars(N48 trillion naira) from the Diaspora tax. This is more than the revenue profile of the federal government in recent years.

8. For Nigerians at home, a streamlined progressive taxation regime is recommended from 0% tax to 30% taxation on all income including allowances with very high income earners being taxed at end of the range which compares favorably with the taxation regimes in most OECD countries of the world. I humbly suggest an equal distribution of this tax among the three tiers of government: one-third of the tax to each tier of government. I guesstimate with efficient and effective collection strategy and compliance, revenues of over N5 trillion naira will accrue to each tier of government.

9. With the above suggestions in place, I recommend a layered well funded and well equipped interior security architecture to be put in place: local government police, state police, federal police, highway patrol, and forest and rural police.

10. With an improved revenue profile, human and physical infrastructural projects employing millions of workers including young people can be aggressively pursued which will have a dramatic effect on improving the economy, improving the morale of the people and the security agencies, and engage the youth in productive employment and thus reduce their anger and disaffection, and also cause a reduction in crime, and enhance local and foreign investment in Nigeria.

11. All you need to do is to ask and negotiate with Nigerians worldwide to join your team and use their resources and God given talents to join you and other Nigerians at home in tackling the enormous challenges that our country faces. The partnership of Nigerians at home and abroad with you to tackle these challenges head on is long overdue.

Thank you very much for your attention and consideration.

Yours sincerely,
Abitunde Taiwo