Stupidity tax to increase revenue
If you are a big fan of Absolutely Fabulous, the British television sitcom created by Dawn Fench and Jennifer Saunders, then you will recognise the headline of this article was taken from one of the episodes. The show is built around three characters; Edina Monsoon, a career woman with extreme alcohol addiction, who drives her daughter Saffron crazy, and Patsy, her best friend, who is a drug addict. Their lifestyle of spending their financial resources on their addiction always leads to personal crises.
Duncan the neighbourhood drunk reminds me of Patsy, one of the characters in the series, his alcohol consumption far exceeds anyone I know. Anyway, Duncan recently declared his interest to run for office in the next elections. He came with a manifesto to the pub and wanted patrons to support his ambition. Never one to miss an opportunity for a good laugh, I asked him to read out his manifesto if he wants another round of his favourite drink on my tab. He wasted no time in creating a makeshift podium and started reeling out his policies:
1. Most of you don’t take my announcement serious, but I am here to convince you that I am the best candidate for this job. I am eminently qualified for the job as a law abiding, tax paying citizen and a heavy investor in the FMCG sector – I have been an alcoholic for 30 years and that should count for something. I also want all citizens to enjoy the dividends of democracy so that they too can “bam bam and chill with the big boys.”
2. I would ensure that to cut spending, all public officials would only fly economy.
3. Only Zobo, Kunu, Palm wine and other local drinks would be served at all functions to support SMEs in that sector. I will give exception to breweries, which commit to supplying me and my cabinet truckload of their brew every month. It is important, that as the leader, I must ascertain if the foreign import is fit for consumption. Consequently, the regulatory agency in charge would be under my direct supervision.
4. Anyone driving G-Wagon must also volunteer to tow any broken down vehicle on Lekki-Epe Expressway, Third Mainland Bridge and Ikorodu road in Lagos.
5. Electoral pledges would be binding; defaulters would be sentenced to one year of community service, sweeping the streets of their respective electoral wards every morning.
6. Minimum monthly salary of primary school teachers would be Five Hundred Thousand Naira.
7. The only allowance MPs would get is the sitting allowance of Five Thousand Naira only. It is an exceptional honour and privilege to serve the country, so they should not expect to get rich or die trying.
8.Only made in Nigeria fabric should be worn to work to drive the growth of the fashion industry in the country.
9. When it’s election period, every article/story in the media should have the name of the politician and organisation sponsoring it as byline.
10. Happy hour in all bars would be enforced every Friday from 6pm -7pm. This would be made into a law.
11. All widows and single mothers will receive a monthly allowance. The amount would be decided after a nationwide consultation.
12. All slay queens would receive free 10G data monthly as long as they continue to twerk on social media for the viewing pleasure of the populace. To enjoy this bonanza, you must show evidence of twerking, at least, twice daily.
13. We would also create an enabling environment for slay queens from other countries to come to Nigeria. Only attractive slay queens would benefit from my incentives.
14. I would introduce stupidity tax to generate additional revenue. If people are going to be stupid, then let society benefit from it.
15. All religious organisations must declare their accounts every year. Only exception would be the Mofeto church… well as long as their beautiful choristers entertain me privately.
At this point, patrons started singing, “you don win, you don win.” Everyone was in stitches. Duncan was smiling from ear to ear and sincerely, I couldn’t tell if he took himself serious or not.
Truth is, Duncan has the constitutional right to announce his interest to run for any office in the country, but with his manifesto, I don’t think he would get my money or vote. The only support I will give him is the occasional rounds of free drink whenever I am in the neighbourhood.