The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has cried out that President Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, are overburdening Nigerians with taxes and tariffs and care less about relieving the plight of the country’s suffering poor population.
Prince Secondus, in a statement from his media office at the weekend, lamented that while other world leaders are raising stimuli in form of palliatives to cushion the biting effects of COVID-19 for their citizens, President Buhari was busy heaping more burden on the populace with more taxes and tariffs.
This action is strangulating the nation’s economy, killing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and causing flight of investors to other neighbouring countries where business environment is conducive and friendly, the statement said.
“I find it laughable and contradictory that a regime that multiplies 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.
Prince Secondus listed some of the taxes of the Buhari government that have increased hardship on the people to include fuel price hike, electricity tariff increase, bank charges and increased Value Added Tax, VAT, among others.
“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 percent 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.
The main opposition leader said further that nothing underscores the insensitivity of the administration to the welfare of its citizens than that they keep loading the people with more and more burden.
He said that from all corners of the country, Nigerians were groaning, amid glaring insecurity, that businesses are folding up and relocating as they are weighed down under the hardship arising from incessant taxation, levies and hikes in prices of essential items.
Prince Secondus expressed regret that at this period when World leaders are reviewing their welfare packages in favour of the people because of the effect of COVID-19, Nigeria’s government is multiplying their taxes amid rising cases of the pandemic in the country.
The PDP National Chairman said that the stimulus package for COVID- 19 introduced by the government has become another corruption window for the operatives as it is the more you look the less you see with no accountability.
Prince Secondus said that the opposition party is not just critizing but boosts of having an effective strategy and right manpower to turn the nation’s economy around.
He charged President Buhari to review every taxable item in the country downwards in the spirit of the pandemic as well as because the incompetence of the regime has plunged Nigerians into avoidable hardship arising from insecurity, terrorism, banditry and herdsmen menace.