Next Level: Taxing Nigerians to death


Okenyi Kenechi

Yesterday, the Senate passed a bill to increase VAT from 5 to 7.5 per cent. Nobody coughed. Before that, the CBN had introduced a policy of levying accounts 3 and 2 per cents for deposit and withdrawal when in excess of 500k. Nobody coughed.

Recall that at the twilight of Obasanjo’s tenure, he increased VAT. The current APC national chair led Labour staged national protests. I wonder what happened to Labour from 2015 to date.

Then they began collecting 50 naira from POS users at each transaction above 1000. The CBN said the process is to fast track its cashless policy. But how do you encourage cashless policy by charging people for going cashless? Nobody coughed, although there is a suit challenging that policy before a federal high court in Port Harcourt.

The truth is that ever since Buhari’s government agreed to pay the 30k minimum wage, they have been running from pillar to post looking for ways to tax the ordinary people hard without losing their own benefits.

Taxing the masses is not a bad thing but where are the palliatives?

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In other places, such imposition of hardship on the people would have led to protests but Nigerians know better. If the protest is not funded by politicians, we won’t dare. Or didn’t they increase pump prices after the Ojota macabre dance?

That is why I pity Sowore and people like him who think that once they are arrested, millions of Nigerians will troop to the streets chanting Aluta Continua. Nigerians had more balls during the military regime with real khaki than this military regime with agbada.

Then you have a Senate President who tells the president that any Bill he sends to them will be given prompt attention. That is why the bill to increase vat scaled through without opposition.

Buhari said Saraki and Dogara stopped him from performing. But now we understand the kind of performance he meant now that they got their man-Friday as head of the legislature and aeroplane driver as head of the judiciary.

Don’t forget you can’t tax your way into prosperity.

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