The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday said the continued importation of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly called petrol to the country by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was “imposed” on the Federal Government.
The NLC said it would meet today (Thursday) to review many pronouncements made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the Federal Government through the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed on fuel subsidy removal. The NLC called on Nigerians to be ready to fully mobilise and vehemently reject Federal Government’s unfriendly policies by all means if they are implemented in 2022 as proposed.
NLC President Ayuba Wabba spoke in Abuja during an interview with reporters on the sideline of the 48th National Executive Council meeting of Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN).Wabba called on the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that the amount agreed on the consolidated health salary structure (CONHESS) is captured in the 2022 budget to avoid another round of industrial action in the health sector next year.
He also warned political leaders not to neglect governance in preparation for the 2023 general elections.Wabba said: “NLC has remained very consistent in its position about the issue of what we call subsidy. The position of NLC is that Nigeria has no reason to continue to import refined products for domestic use particularly PMS because we’ve also found out that we are the only member country of OPEC that is doing that.“It’s an imposed policy on Nigeria, and our leaders must find a way and means to actually get us out of that imposition.
We have made this point very clear that because of the devalued value of our currency, it then means that the policy of importation will continue to have a negative impact on consumers.”He also warned the government not to transfer its inefficiency to the Nigerian people by inflicting more pains on the masses in 2022, saying N5,000 palliative policy is not sustainable.Wabba said: “That remains the official position of NLC. But we are going to meet tomorrow and next tomorrow at the level of the National Executive Council (NEC) to also review some of the pronouncements that have been made by the IMF, by the World Bank and, even by the Nigeria government through the Minister of Finance.
Today, the cost of goods and services have gone very spiral. Not too many families can have more than one meal on their table per day, therefore, increasing the price of this important commodity which will affect the life of every family.“It’s not only the 40 million we’re talking about because, whether you like it or not, directly or indirectly, every Nigerian will feel the impact. It’s either you have a car or you use commercial transport or you use a small generator which we call ‘I pass my neighbour’ or you use a small grinding machine.
Per capita income of many of those people we’re comparing with, where subsidy has been removed, they have many means of transportation and the impact could not be felt but in the context of Nigeria, whether you like it or not, the impact will be felt by every family.”National President of MHWUN, Comrade Biobelemoye Josiah, said it is a doomsday prophecies for the federal government to privatise some public health facilities.The MHWUN President added that his union would use every available means to resist the move.The Trade Union Congress (TUC) also cautioned the Federal Government not to bother employers and workers with multiple taxation and other inhibitions that stifle businesses.
The Congress, while presenting its position to the Senate Committee on the Finance Act 2021, said efforts should be geared towards economic development and how to save the few available jobs.TUC President Comrade Quadri Olaleye noted that there should be reduction of Electronic Money Transfer levy of N50 to N10 because of multiple taxation.He said the levy should only affect transfer of N50, 000.00 or more and the sharing formula of 15 per cent to the Federal and 85 per cent to the states should be maintained.On the pay as you earn (PAYE)/ Personal Income Tax, he said any person or workers receiving as low as N50, 000.00 per month should be exempted from Personal Income Tax, emphasizing that the N30, 000.00 in the law should be increased to N50, 000.00 as tax relief to low-income earners.
The Labour leader also proposed that the current rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) be reduced from 7.5 per cent to its original rate of 5 per cent because organisations and workers were already contending with multiple taxes which to a large extent was discouraging investors.On Capital Gain Tax, he said that the sums obtained by way of compensation for loss of office be increased to a maximum of N50, 000,000.00 from its original amount of N10, 000,000.00.
According to him, this amount (N50, 000,000.00) should not be chargeable gain and should not be subjected to tax under this Act, provided that any sum in excess of N50, 000, 000. 00 shall not be exempt but the excess amount shall be chargeable gain and subject to tax accordingly.
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