…calls for the review of N50 stamp duty
By ODUNEWU SEGUN
THE recent imposition of N50 stamp duty on Nigerians for money received into their accounts has been described as one of the policies summersault of the present government that could worsen the poverty level in the country.
According to the Centre for Global Solutions and Sustainable Development, at a time like this when many Nigerians have not recovered from the drastic increase in dollar rate which as at today stood at N307 to $1, imposition such a duty will only make matter worse.
“We are not unaware of the fact that the government is imposing this policy towards making-up for the funding deficit in the proposed national budget especially on revenue prediction on an oil benchmark of 38 dollars per barrel which as at today has fallen to 27 dollars and has made the budget to be unrealistic. The fact remains that the budget already has some luxury and wasteful expenditures which the government should immediately review. Asking poor Nigerians to pay for the luxury in the budget is commensurate to collecting money from Peter to pay Paul and also asking them to pay for sins not committed”
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“The same Nigerians after paying N50 for stamp duty on deposit above N1000 received in their accounts, pay N4 for receiving alert of payment received, pay N65, for the fourth ATM withdrawal in a month, also pay 5% VAT on goods and services, even the average workers from the private sector through their salaries pay taxes”
CENGSSUD said the policy promotes inequality which is against the Goal 10, targets 10.2, 10.3, 10.4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “A situation where a poor man that receives N1000 in his account pays the same amount of N50 stamp duty as a rich man who receives N100 Million in his account, the policy will continue to make the rich become richer and poor become poorer. The policy does not even exempt the savings account as widely speculated by some quarters, as the N50 stamp duty is levied on all third-party direct deposits and electronic transfers on all Savings Accounts.”
The Centre call on the CBN to henceforth make wide consultations with all relevant stakeholders, before embarking on their various conflicting inconsistent trial-by-error policies as governance is a multi-stakeholder process, and Nigeria and Nigerians are not toys. The direct adverse effects of policies especially on the people should be considered first.
“While still reiterate our support for the present government towards the anti-corruption drive, we also call on the federal, State and Local governments to start without delay, the implementation of the newly adopted United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are the global agenda for the next 15 years, and they are the goals that will move us to a more Just, peaceful and a sustainable nation.