1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Local governments are close to the people and hence could effectively alter socio-economic and political conditions within their jurisdictions in Nigeria. There are established to encourage grassroots participation in decision making at the community levels. The expectation is that as a third tier of government, local councils act as catalysts for sustainable development at the grassroots level. Local governments can complement the economic activities of other levels of government apart from providing and maintaining basic infrastructures which depends on the availability and proper utilization of funds. Revenue mobilization is an important issue for Local Government Councils. It is through this activity that the councils source the finance for funding their operations, thus to a large extent, determining the quantity and quality of services provided to the generality of people within their domain. These reasons, coupled with the fact that Local Governments are engines of growth and development, make imperative the need for Local Governments to map out strategies for improved revenue mobilization, emphasising especially the internal sources which are more flexible, and could be in the total control of the Local Governments. Local governments in Nigeria are created to bring governance closer to the people at the grass-root level and promote political participation. It is the closest tier of government to the people in Nigeria, yet the resident population in it is denied the benefits of its existence. This is evident in the environmental state, deteriorating public school buildings, poor market facilities and lack of health centres as well as access roads and drainages. According to Olusola (2011), the failure of the Local governments in the area of service delivery has made the citizens to lose trust in government as an institution. In some states, local government area council officials are better known for the harassment of citizens than service delivery (Shar, 2007). This is basically due to the difficult in generating revenue for its operations, as well as fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities. As a result of this development, many Nigerians crave for change in the local government system as presently constituted in order not only to bring it in conformity with present day realities but also to make it live up to the expectations of the people who have been yearning for development and a sense of belonging. Education is an indispensable tool for personal and social developments. Many countries in the world today view education as a good investment for national development because it is expected to produce the required quantity and quality of human resources for the economic growth using the right mix of inputs. Primary education is meant for children between the ages of five (5) and eleven (11) years in Nigeria. It’s like any other organizations which receive inputs from its environment, converts or processes it and afterwards, discharges the output to the environment from where the input is obtained (Oni, 2014). Adequate funding of the education industry (Basic, Post-basic, and Tertiary Institutions) and a well utilization of the available revenue allocation make the industry to develop. It enables the system to function smoothly, effectively and efficiently at all times in its productivity and the student’s learning outcomes. Resources allotted for primary education service delivery hinges on finance. Despite the high amount of money vested on education there is seemingly low productivity of educational products. Nigerians expect public primary school system to be efficient in a way that a given quantity of output is obtained with minimum input but anecdotal observations of primary schools‟ operation in Nigeria reveals that there are elements of inefficiency in the system. Majority of the pupils were repeating classes, dropping out and the increase in the fail out percentage in the public primary school; thus, constituting wastage. The system wastage experienced reveals that the objectives of primary education have not been fully met because pupils‟ desire for achievement and transition to secondary institutions has become very low recently. Educational managers of the state public primary schools are faced with the challenge of how to convince the various stakeholders of education of their capability in efficient utilization of resources allocated to their schools. The poor performance of public primary schools students in public examinations coupled with inefficient utilization of resources, border on the issue of standard, when compared with what is obtainable in private primary schools in the state. From the foregoing, the research intends to probe the execution, implementation and service delivery in Gwagwalada Area Council, to match substantive development with revenue mobilization and utilization. Hence the empirical study into the revenue base of the local government system at this harsh economic period is not only useful but very vital. It is therefore against this background that this project work is being undertaken with a view to discovering the effective Revenue mobilization and Utilization in Public primary school with particular reference to Gwagwalada Area Council FCT, Abuja.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
The level of success recorded by the educational sector has been closely linked with the availability of resources. Among the resources needed for the effective administration of the educational sector, funding has been identified as an indispensable instrument. This is because funding serves as the life-wire for the management and administration of most sectors of the economy including the educational sector. Many local governments including Gwagwalada area council in FCT are genuinely eager to grow their internally generated revenue base but seem largely unable to harness available opportunities to do so. A recurrent problem of the local government system of governance in Nigeria is dwindling revenue generation as characterized by annual budget deficits and insufficient funds for meaningful growth and sustainable development. Local governments being the nearest to the people in Nigeria are strategically located to carry out specific duties or roles in national development such as public primary school development. According to Adedokun (2004), they are responsible for the governance of about 70 percent of the population of Nigeria, they are in a vantage position to articulate the needs of majority of Nigerians and formulate strategies for their realization. Most local councils are financially weak and rely on financial transfers and assistance from the state government (Brosio, 2012). Moreover, the revenue collection system and administrations are often inefficient hence a large sum is left-out while those collected are often inadequately managed (Fjeldstad & Semboja, 2012). For example, most revenue from property rates is not utilized. If local councils generate more revenue internally, a portion can be deployed to developmental projects like public primary schools in the communities instead of relying on either federal or state allocation. This paper, therefore, investigates the extent of revenue mobilization and utilization in public primary schools in Gwagwalada area council FCT, Abuja.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major aim of the study is to examine the assessment of revenue mobilization and utilization in public primary schools. Other specific objectives of the study include;
1. To examine the level of revenue mobilisation in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja
2. To examine the extent to which revenue is utilized in Public primary schools in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja
3. To examine the impact of revenue mobilization and utilization on primary school development in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja
4. To examine the impact of financial misappropriations on revenue mobilization in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja
5. To examine the relationship between revenue mobilization, utilization and Public primary school development.
6. To examine various bottlenecks associated with the tax regime in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja
1.4. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What is the level of revenue mobilisation in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja?
2. What is the extent to which revenue is utilized in Public primary schools in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja?
3. What is the impact of revenue mobilization and utilization on primary school development in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja?
4. What is the impact of financial misappropriations on revenue mobilization in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja?
5. What is the relationship between revenue mobilization, utilization and Public primary school development?
6. What are the various bottlenecks associated with the tax regime in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no significant impact of revenue mobilization and utilization on primary school development in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja.
H1: There is a significant impact of revenue mobilization and utilization on primary school development in Gwagwalada Area council, Abuja.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
From the outlook, there is need for the local government to improve their performance especially in the development of the educational sector. However, the research is significantly considering the closeness of local government to the grassroots’ people and the need to utilize substantial revenue for its various sources in addition to federal and state statutory allocation for developmental purpose. The study will help to identifying some means of generating revenue that has been neglected over years. It will also be beneficial to the grassroots because improved revenue generation means improved standard of living in form of provision of social amenities such as road, hospital, park, drinkable water, rural electrification and development of public primary schools etc. The study will be educative as it will be a reference point for researchers.
1.7 SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
The study is restricted to the assessment of revenue mobilization and utilization in public primary schools in Gwagwalada Area council FCT, Abuja.
1.8 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
Financial constraint: Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview)
Time constraint: The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Revenue Efforts: Operationally, revenue efforts in this study refers to: Government in action, strategy, mode of collection, activities, discipline, commitment, service delivery, public responsibilities, co-ordination, efficiencies and effectiveness of governments to generate more revenue.
Revenue: For the purpose of this study, revenue is operationally defined as: money realized from taxes and rates, financial resources, monthly statutory allocation received, protection, income from investments and returns from commercial undertaking by local governments.
IGR: Operationally in this study refers to: source of fund, proceeds of agricultural activities, commercial and private enterprises, community/cattle tax, rates, user charges, local licenses, fines, fees, earning from commercial undertakings, motor park levies, cattle tax, advert permit fees, wrong parking charges, contract registration and processing fees, public convenience, sewage and refuse disposal fees etc. in Gwagwalad area council.
Resource utilization: This is an effective and efficient allocation and use of resource or revenue to the various sectors and projects of the State government as provided for, in the law, usually in the state’s annual budgets. Within our context, resource utilization is reasoned from both human and financial stands. From the human stand, it is the allocation of qualified and experienced personals to implement jobs which they have full knowledge while from the financial point; it is the allocation of revenue to projects that benefit the public.