Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, on Saturday accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government of overburdening Nigerians with taxation.
Secondus, in a statement by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, said while other world leaders are giving palliatives to their citizens to ameliorate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown on them, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is overburdening Nigerians with endless taxes.
The PDP chairman listed some of the taxes imposed by the government which has worsened the economic hardship on the people to include fuel price hike, electricity tariff, bank charges and increased Value Added Tax( VAT)among others.
According to him, ‘this action is strangulating the nation’s economy, killing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and causing investors flight to other neighbouring countries where the business environment is conducive and friendly.
‘I find it laughable and contradictory that a regime that multiples the peoples taxes and hikes prices indiscriminately at this pandemic period is talking of lifting some Nigerians out of poverty with such draconian and insensitive policies that earned the country the ignoble title of capital of the world poor under the watch of President Buhari.
‘In September 2019 this government hiked VAT to rate payable in Nigeria from 5 to 7.5%; after January 2016 introduction of N50 stamp duty by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN; again in September 2019 it imposed charges on cash deposits and withdrawals above N500,000 for individuals and N3m for corporate accounts.
‘After February 2016, 45 per cent increase in electricity tariffs with a claim that it will result in a better power supply services, the regime has just announced another upward review of Electricity tariffs from July 1st, 2020 with power supply getting worse than ever.’
Secondus added that nothing underscores the alleged insensitivity of the Buhari administration to the welfare of its citizens than the practice of adding more to the economic burden on the people through taxes.
He added that ‘the policy thrust of Buhari administration has deliberately been set towards loading Nigerians with heavy burden through mindless revenue hike in virtually every item of human endeavour.’