New government taxes, rates and charges will increase inequality gap – CISLAC

CIVIL Society Legislative Advocacy Centre ( CISLAC), a transparency and accountability advocacy group,  has called for reforms on the Federal Government new fiscal policies unveiled recently by the Central Bank which it says does not take into account the economic position of Nigerians.  

Auwal Ibrahim Musa, Executive Director of the organisation in a press statement condemned the increase in taxes, rates and charges on good and services without plans on the part of the government to cut down the cost of governance and source funds from foreign investors and companies in the country awarded no or low tax remittances.

“As has been demanded by many Nigerians and groups, we call on the federal government to pay serious attention to widening the tax net rather than increasing the rate which will only place more burden on the few that comply already and still exempt the majority that does not pay taxes,” he said.

Stressing on the pact of the new increment in the Value Added Tax rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent, Musa said the new policy neglect to take certain things into condition which is majorly the standard of living of the Nigerians, and strategies put in place to ensure accurate tax collections while eliminating corruption in the process.

“At the state level, there are no definite framework to tax the informal sector, these citizens of Nigeria who do their business at this economic level are only left at the discretion of the “man in power” at the state level as they are subject to any form of discretionary changes in the counts and rates of the taxes paid,” the statement read part.

In addition, the organisation called for more stringent measures through the use of Bank Verification Number (BVN), National Tax Policy with a feasible remittance estimation by the Federal Inland Revenue Services to be put in place as a measure of ascertaining tax remittances  as a device to curbing illicit financial transactions and tax evasion by companies and individuals in the country.

“We hope that the proposed measures can be effectively implemented to solve the revenue deficit in the country rather than an increase in rate which will only exacerbate poverty and hunger on the ‘ultimate burden-bearer’ – the poor and vulnerable.”

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