From Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has said that President Muhammadu Buhari and his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are overburdening Nigerians with taxes and tariffs, instead of relieving the plight of the country’s suffering poor population.
Secondus noted that while other world leaders are raising economic stimulus inform of palliatives to cushion the biting effects of COVID-19 on their citizens, President Buhari is busy heaping more burden on the populace with endless taxes and tariffs.
In a statement on Saturday by his media adviser, Ike Abonyi, th PDP chair noted that the administration’s actions are strangulating the nation’s economy.
According to him, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are the worst hit, while investors run to 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 said.
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The main opposition party chairman listed fuel price hike, electricity tariff increase, bank charges and increased Value Added Tax (VAT) among others, as some decisions that have increased the people’s hardship.
The chairman said, “In September 2019, this government hiked VAT payable in Nigeria from 5 to 7.5 percent, 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 N3 million for corporate accounts.
“After February 2016, 45 percent 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.”
Secondus said nothing underscored the insensitivity of the administration to the welfare of its citizens than that it keeps heaping more economic burden on the people.
He observed that Nigerians are groaning amid insecurity, businesses are folding up and relocating as they are weighed down by hardship, arising from multiple taxation, levies, and hike in prices of essential items.