Hike in tariff: Court asked to restrain finance minister
In an originating summons brought by a non-governmental organisation, Business Renaissance Group, the court was asked to make an order compelling the minister and her agents while reviewing any tariffs, to take into consideration, the interest of the plaintiffs, the generality of the citizens and the clear intendments of the constitution of Nigeria with regard to growing a robust and all inclusive economy for the good of all Nigerians as a fundamental obligation of government.
The plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that the increment of the tariff duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco is against public policy and not in tandem with the intention behind Sections 16 and 42 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
They therefore requested the court to make a declaration that the phenomenal increment of duties on alcoholic beverages and tobacco is indefensibly and unjustifiably selective, discriminatory, unreasonable and unfairly oppressive of a particular segment of the Nigerian society and the plaintiffs in particular, who use the affected products and whose means of livelihood are threatened by the new oppressive tariffs.
The plaintiffs are also seeking a declaration that a selective and arbitrary increase in commodity tariffs amounts to economic and social emasculation of the citizens affected.
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