By Dirisu Yakubu, Abuja
National chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has chided President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, for what he called the overburdening of Nigerians with taxes and tariffs since assuming office in 2015.
Secondus in a statement issued on his behalf by his media aide, Ike Abonyi, noted that while other world leaders are raising stimulus packages 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.”
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 multiplies 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.”
Secondus listed some of the taxes to include fuel hike, Electricity tariff, bank charges and increased Value Added Tax, VAT among others.
“In September 2019,” the statement continued, “this government hiked VAT to rate payable in Nigeria from 5 to 7.5 per cent after January 2016 introduction of N50 stamp duty by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN; in September 2019, it imposed charges on cash deposits and withdrawals above N500,000 for individuals and N3 million for corporate accounts.
“After February 2016, there was a 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.”
According to him, “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.”
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