Major highlight of the seventh Quadrennial National Delegates Conference of the Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, that took place few days ago in Abuja, was the outcry of unbearable tax burden.
Addressing guests and members of the union, Chris Ani, lamented that despite the existing burdens, new taxes were being introduced daily by both the federal and state government aimed at emasculating workers and other venerable Nigerians.
While kicking against the recently introduced charges by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on bank accounts, arguing that they were offensive to the already over-burdened workers by the excessive Pay As Your Earn, PAYE, tax system.
According to Ani: “The increase in Value Added Tax and the increases in the charges of withdrawals and deposits by the Central Bank of Nigeria to say the least are very provocative to a workforce that is already over burden with excessive PAYE tax.
The tax system in Nigeria is not broad base as it is very clear that only workers pay taxes in this country.
“It is unacceptable that the country is ever ready to give tax concessions and tax holidays to business while increasing taxes that affect workers adversely. The Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, has indicated government’s intention to cap it up with what he calls communication tax because according to him, Nigerians talk a lot.
“This mindless taxation is carried out to prove to Bretton Wood Institutions and other foreign lenders, that the country can internally generate sufficient revenue to settle the ever increasing foreign debts. We must rise as a movement to challenge this insensitivity of Governments to the tax burden that is crushing Nigerian workers.”