Reviews

How, in just six years, has the Lagos government convinced millions of informal traders, taxi drivers, doctors, and lawyers to start paying taxes? This book offers the first-ever account of the rapid emergence of a remarkably effective taxation system in an African megacity. The author provides an insider’s perspective into the state government’s clever strategies for achieving high rates of compliance, such as creating a desirable taxpayer ID card and collaborating with Lagos’ many active professional associations, along with quickly delivering services to enhance the program’s credibility and sustainability. This is a book that should be of great interest to academics with interest in the emergence of the social contract in the 21st century, along with policy makers who wish to draw lessons about how other governments can gain citizen confidence and translate public trust into development.

Shelby Grossman
Department of Government
Harvard University


The reading is fluid and well-thought out

Clifford I. Osuji, Ph.D (Econs), CPPO
Department of Criminal Justice, Philosophy and Political Science
Chicago State University


Heirs of a heritage is a crash-course in Nigeria’s political and economic history, and the socio-political effects of taxation for development. After reading it, you will also understand the reasons behind the successful economic growth and infrastructural development of Lagos since 1999. This book’s approach of combining hard facts with effective story-telling is unique and brilliant. It gives a deeper understanding of the issues and challenges in a way that is easily grasped and perhaps more translatable for others who may be interested in copying Lagos’ highly successful tax strategy. Finally Nigeria has a success-story volume filled with empirical evidence and strategies that are reproducible anywhere in the world. 

Kudos to the genius of Dr. William Babatunde Fowler for the implementation of Lagos states’ tax reforms and this erudite author, James Awam, for his outstanding work in capturing Lagos state’s success story in easy-to-understand language. I cannot recommend Heirs of a heritage highly enough. It should be required reading for all Nigerian politicians, entrepreneurs and students at all levels. It has my double thumbs up. 

Adetoye Oremosu,
Africa’s first Citizen Ambassador to the United Nations

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