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Nigerian Journal of Economic History

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Impedes to effective collection of local government revenue and effect on service delivery in Cameroon: an appraisal of the situation in the Wum Central Council, 1965 – 1974

Protus Mbeum Tem

Abstract


Local Governments have increasingly been granted fiscal autonomy in order for them to be effective in the provision of services to their citizens. However, the inability of these institutions to effectively collect revenue in Cameroon has hampered service delivery. Following the case of the Wum Central Council, the study holds that tax evasion and defaulting, migration and the diversion of revenue to other Local Government areas as well as underpayments of court fines, fees and charges are some of the major factors that have worked against the smooth collection of revenue. Added to these, the failure of the central authorities in paying rents on Local Government buildings occupied by state departments made it impossible for these institutions to achieve their tax collection objectives. Apart from the government and tax payers, the lackadaisical attitudes of tax collectors, concealment, embezzlement and misappropriation of collected revenue became some of the factors that encumbered the proper collection and realisation of revenue in the Local government area. These factors made it impossible for the Wum Central Local Government to effectively deliver services as their budget were in perpetual deficit forcing it to abandon or under provide social and economic services to citizens. In spite of the poor state of Local Government finances and inability to provide services effectively between 1965 and 1974, some strides were made in rejuvenating the efforts of these institutions in that direction.



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