‘Adopt wealth tax to address poverty in Nigeria’
An Abuja-based Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Malam Ahmed Adeniyi Raji, has called on the Federal Government to immediately introduce Wealth Tax Policy that would make super-rich Nigerians to pay appropriate taxes for the care of downtrodden citizens.
The senior lawyer said the policy, if introduced and implemented, would make the wealthy to contribute meaningfully to government’s purse and bridge the gap between the affluent and the poor in the country.
Raji, who spoke at a public lecture entitled, “Taxing Powers in a Federal System” in Abuja to mark his 60th birthday, stated that the time has come for government to do real balancing between the rich and the poor in Nigeria.
He argued that in the face of the harsh economic realities, the poor needed to be subsidised to balance their anger against the rich.
The senior attorney noted that evidence abound of “some super-rich class owning personal jets worth $50 million each at a time when some families could not afford to eat twice a day. The country cannot witness genuine peace under such situation.”
Raji went on: “It is a fact that the downturn in Nigeria’s economy is having harsh and devastating effects on the poor majority Nigerians. The wide disparity between the rich and the poor should be of grave concern to patriotic Nigerians and the way out must be found.
“The gap between the rich and the poor is so much and so offensive that It can lead to breakdown of law and order in any moment.
“It is in the interest of justice that the super-rich should shed part of their stupendous wealth to cater for the downtrodden masses before it is too late.
“Majority of Nigerians are in absolute poverty. Over 90 percentage of the Nigerian population is in abject poverty and time has come for us, including myself, to address the ugly situation.
“Any attempt to pretend that all is well may spell doom for the nation. We will be sitting on a keg of gunpowder if we refuse to address the challenges of the poor masses now.”
He appealed to the government that the instrumentality of Wealth Tax must be adopted and used to develop the Nigerian nation as done in the United States, United Kingdom and France.