We Must Tax The Rich To Subsidise For The Poor – NLC President

Channels Television  
Updated May 29, 2019
File Photo: NLC President, Ayuba Wahab

 

One of the critical issues to address for Nigeria to progress is the tax system, the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Mr Ayuba Wabba, has said.

Mr Wabba said this on Tuesday while speaking about the countrys economic outlook during a town hall organised by Channels Television ahead of the inauguration.

For him, the current system essentially robs the poor in favour of the rich.

He said, Today in Nigeria, the facts are obvious, what is our tax to GDP? It is only workers that pay the correct tax. In fact, I was reading recently (about) politicians that have filled various forms to contest for political offices. If you look at what they declared as tax, it is not something to write home about.

So, if we are to make progress, it is not to continue to tax the poor. It is to tax the rich to subsidise for the poor. This is what happens everywhere around the world.

The NLC President also decried the implication of unchecked imports on the economy.

I dont think we need to import items that we dont need. I think that has been the bane of our economy. Most of our forex and exchange go on importing items that we dont need, he cautioned.

The NLC President considers the countrys refining capacity as another issue which is central to its growth.

You can see very clearly that despite the fact that we have tried to address many other issues, the challenges in the oil and gas sector have remained because we have not been able to utilize our potential effectively, Wabba said.

The consequence is that jobs that could have been created have not emerged and revenue that could have been used to develop infrastructure has not been generated or has been misused.

Despite his complaints, he said the country has recorded some positives in the past four years that should be built upon and replicated across sectors.

Well, today, we have become one of the highest producers of rice in the world. We have overtaken Egypt and that is positive, he said.

I think we should go into other sectors textile, manufacturing; we should actually add value where we have comparative advantage.

He believes that doing that, especially in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors, can earn the country foreign exchange and help strengthen the naira and by extension the economy.