ActionAid has called on Nigeria’s Federal Government to abolish tax waivers to multinationals and increase both property and luxury goods taxes to get funds to build effective public service.
The ActionAid Nigeria gave the advice on Tuesday while reacting to International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s demand that public sector employee costs should be cut, a move which is said would lead to lost of job without an exemption to essential jobs including that of teachers, nurses and doctors.
ActionAid said in Nigeria already there is great poverty and even the wages receive by workers are inadequate despite the introduction of higher minimum wage by the present administration.
The non governmental organisation said: “Although there have been increases in the public sector wage bill at the federal level, there is evidence of wage cuts or freezes at the sub-national level. Despite the provision in the Minimum Wage Act, 2019 (Amendment Act) that provides for N30,000 minimum wage, compliance at the subnational level remains weak. Public financial reforms at the subnational level that are geared towards improving the quality of public service delivery by prioritizing workers welfare, should be pursued and implemented.”
The organisation said: “In light of the need for effective service delivery, there is a need to intensify efforts towards blocking revenue inflow to the federal government in other to make more funds available for funding the social sector and the nation’s overall development. One way to do this is by abolishing tax waivers to multinationals. Property and luxury goods tax could also be increased.”
It also suggested that there should be a review of laws/policy to create a percentage of tax to be paid by companies towards financing public services should be adopted with government continued move to explore alternative means of financing the public sector.
The trade Union and other stakeholders are advised to be very active in the political space and become major influencers of government policies and decisions, insisting that this will put them in a position of anticipating policies moves and engaging at an early stage before they are adopted or passed as legislations.
ActionAid said for the trade unions and stakeholders, effective engagement at public hearings at the National Assembly where bills are discussed before they are considered for passage into laws will also be important.
Michael Olugbode in Abuja