General news

ActionAid canvasses tax widening to sustain education, economy



Mrs Ene Obi, Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria (AAN), has called on the Federal Government to widen its tax base to sustain the education system and  the economy.

Obi was speaking in Abuja on Tuesday at a two-day National Tax Summit organised by ActionAid in collaboration with Tax Justice and Governance Platform.

She noted that there was a need for the government to harness all opportunities to increase the tax base.

In Nigeria we are encouraging more private schools and not paying attentions to the public schools. What we are saying is to widen the tax base as there is a lot we can get from education.

Nigerians are sustaining the economy of Benin Republic as a result of the educational knowledge Nigerians are seeking for.

“ If we better our education, the rich will go and pay the money and you can attract people from outside to come to our schools. This will be a big resource we can harness for the economy.’’

According to her, tax is supposed to solve the problems of education.

We pay all the taxes and these should be invested in education, hence our tax must be protected,’’ she said.

On the Finance Bill currently passed by the National Assembly, which aims to mandate banks to compel customers to provide their Tax Identification Number (TIN), Obi said this would further compound the problems of Nigerians.

Why are you telling us to get TIN for the children, we save for their education and we should be encouraging a cashless economy but what this introduction is saying is that people should keep money in their homes.

We are looking at the issue of multiple taxation, increase in VAT, companies not paying tax and we are looking at progressive tax meaning more corporate organisations should widen the issue of tax base.

Some of us pay more than 30 per cent of our taxes or almost 40 per cent taxes and at the end of the day, we are still looking for money for our children’s education, health and the rest.

What we are saying is that we should be able to make our tax work for us. Now you have increased salaries to N30,000 and then you are putting tax and it’s those paid little that are paying the burden of taxes.

Government should be looking at alternatives. If the money for taxes is harnessed enough, there is no need to give tax holidays, investors will come, when investors come they also employ people and they pay taxes.

If the Nigerian government can invest in industrialisation, they will create jobs and the workers will pay taxes and the unemployment will be reduced,’’ Obi added.

She, however, called on the government to come out and clear the air on the new policy of TIN, saying that the Civil Society Organisation would protest if something was not done urgently.

Also, Mr Ayuba Waba, National President, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said no meaningful sustainable development would be possible without expanding the financial option which tax is one.

Wabba, who was represented by Mr James Eustace, Assistant General-Secretary, NLC , called on the government to widen its tax net and ensure that those not paying are mandated to pay.

The new increase of tax policy is not well thought out with the welfare of Nigerians and workers not put in mind.

“There must be a creative strategic efforts to ensure that the tax net is expanded for development and the best way to go is to widen the tax net to ensure the incentive regime are reviewed.’’

He, therefore, said that the union would continue to reject any policy detrimental to the livelihood and survival of Nigerians.

Edited by: Chukwudi Ekezie

13 B/Haram terrorists, 23 family members surrender to troops in Borno -DHQ Malami donates N11m to Kebbi flood victims Jos airport renovation 95 per cent completed – Manager FG mulls policy on zero rating for educational websites Tourism Day: Nigeria to leverage on tourism to boost grassroots devt.- Minister Buhari’s policies yielding fruitful results – Gov Bagudu Ministry to create platform for lifting 100m Nigerians out of poverty Oil palm growers commend Buhari, CBN for empowering small holder farmers Nigerians renew call on Multichoice, others on pay as you go tariff NIHOTOUR will work with private sector for sustainable development of tourism -Kangiwa Men like Justice Karibi-Whyte, difficult to find anymore -NBA President Gov. Wike describes late Karibi-Whyte as a super hero, incorruptible jurist Inter hits two late goals to beat Fiorentina 4-3 Beaten Betis coach Pellegrini blames VAR in defeat to Real Madrid COVID-19: Nigeria cases now 58,198 with 49,722 discharged Ministry official advocates regular dog vaccination to end rabies by 2030 COAS inspects ongoing projects in Army Super Camp, Ngamdu School resumption: Expert advocates provision of clean water to check spread of infections Armed Forces College holds memorial service for 1992 Ejigbo plane crash victims Increased tariff: Previous administration created problem in power sector Scores of terrorists killed in massive airstrikes on hideouts in Borno – DHQ Wike promises early completion of 258-bed mother, child hospital in Port Harcourt Yobe IPAC agrees with LG elections postponement Brazil court postpones league game after several COVID-19 positive tests Don charges media on changing maternal health narratives FG hands over Ogoni remediation sites to NOSDRA for scientific analysis Chilean team discover match postponed after 1,500 km trip Buhari condemns attack on Gov. Zulum’s convoy, killings of security agents Edo election: We have learnt our lesson — APC Environmental: Kano Govt deploys 1,000 sanitation vanguards Christian women pray over insecurity in Jos Chelsea recover from 3 goals down to draw at West Brom Ondo 2020: No plan to collapse our structure for another party – ZLP Structure NGO tasks youths on self-development, empowers 100 with N200, 000 each FG set to address flooding as HYPPADEC takes off soon Students honour FRSC Oyo State sector commander Governors’ Forum pleads with labour unions to shelve planned strike Gov. Matawalle inaugurates planting of 10,100 trees in Zamfara Ortom condemns attack on Gov. Zulum’s convoy Shelve economic shutdown, Buhari deserves commendation – Group tells labour unions Everton win again after penalty kick controversy at Crystal Palace PRP NWC passes vote of confidence on National Exco Tennis: Second seed Pliskova hoping to be fully fit before opening match World Bank spent N90bn on community projects in 11 years – official Caligiuri leads Augsburg to stunning 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund Manchester United earn dramatic win at Brighton with late penalty kick 100, 000 traders to benefit from “Trader money” in Kwara Pathfinder University confers professorship on Dabin, former Plateau PDP chairman COVID-19: Fayemi sympathises with Ekiti hoteliers, gives palliatives Fistula Foundation treats 37 VVF patients in free surgery campaign in Sokoto