*Says investors are running away
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 cares less about relieving the plight of the country’s suffering poor population.
Prince Secondus lamented that while the rest of other world leaders are raising stimulus in the form of palliatives to cushion the biting effects of COVID-19 to their citizens, President Buhari is busy heaping more burden on the populace with his endless taxes and tariffs.
He said the Buhari government’s action is “strangulating the nation’s economy, killing small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and causing investors to flee to other neighbouring countries” where the business environment is conducive and friendly.
In a statement Saturday by his media aide Ike Abonyi, the national chairman said “I find it laughable and contradictory that a regime that multiples the people’s 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 this government on the Nigerian people that has increased their hardship to include fuel hike, Electricity tariff, 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%; afterJanuary 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 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 leader of the main opposition party said that nothing underscores the insensitivity of this administration to the welfare of its citizens than that they keep loading the people with more and more burden.
He added that from all corners of this land, Nigerians are groaning, amid glaring insecurity, businesses are folding up and relocating as they are weighed down under the hardship arising from incessant taxation, levies and hike in prices of essential items.
“The policy thrust of the Buhari administration has deliberately been set towards loading Nigerians with heavy burden through mindless revenue hike in virtually every item of human endeavor.
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 government is multiplying their taxes amid rising cases of the pandemic in the country.
The PDP National Chairman said that the so-called stimulus package for COVID- 19 effects introduced by this 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 criticizing but boasts of having an effective strategy and right manpower to turn the nation’s economy around.
He, therefore, charged President Buhari to review every taxable items in the country downwards in the spirit of the pandemic plus the fact that the incompetence of the regime has plunged Nigerians into avoidable hardship arising from insecurity, terrorism, banditry and herdsmen menace.