NLC Demands Review of Tax Policies

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Solomon Elusoji
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has asked the federal government to review its tax policies, noting that it currently favours wealthy Nigerians and corporate organisation over workers.

Speaking in Abuja at a gathering of labour union leaders over the weekend, the NLC president, Mr. Ayuba Wabba said that the government never fails to tax public and civil servants, whereas it overlooks high net-worth individuals and corporate organisations, who engage in illicit financial transactions to escape paying correct taxes.

“You will remember that last year, we led a campaign to the Ministry of Finance to advocate for tax justice and to stop illicit financial flows from Africa; because in the context of taxation in Nigeria, it is only workers that pay the correct tax, through Pay As You Earn (PAYE),” Wabba said.

He added: “In other climes, it is the high and the mighty that are supposed to pay tax to subsidise for the poor. But in Nigeria, it is the poor that is subsidising the rich. This is why we are demanding for tax justice. Resources can only be made available if people are able to pay their correct taxes.”

Wabba also noted that the Panama Papers leak has exposed the manner in which tax resources are being diverted away from the Nigerian state towards tax havens and urged the government to do something about it. “Part of our campaign this year is to halt illicit financial flows and also to demand for tax justice, where workers and citizens, especially the high and mighty, should pay the correct tax”, he said.

He added: “As an outcome of the NLC’s visit to the Ministry of Finance, some progress has been made; the federal government has set up a presidential committee to address illicit financial flows and also to ensure that issues of tax are appropriately addressed.”

South African Bankers Excited With LBS Training

South African Investment Bankers have lauded the Lagos Business School for hosting the International Executive Development Programme (IEDP) for the Banking Sector and Training Authority (BANKSETA), held in Lagos Nigeria.
The five-day programme which started on June 19, 2017, brought together high potential leaders from the investment banking sector in South Africa and immersed them into the best praticea of the Nigerian economy, culture and environment.

Thebe Mabiletsa, of Absa Capital, South Africa, commended the Lagos Business School for hosting them in Nigeria, an experience he said had broadened the delegation’s horizon on the uniqueness of the Nigerian economy and market.
He revealed that Nigerian businesses “have created a niche space in terms of their innovation and expertise which can make them partner favourably with South African banks as well as other banks on the continent.”

Lead Professor/Orchestrator, Duke University, Jared Bleak said that the key learning from the week-long programme was evident in the prospects for Nigerian banks becoming more international and how they could collaborate with other markets on the continent and even the rest of the world. “The internationalisation of Nigerian banks is happening, and even the South African groups here have learned from the economy and possibly thinking about partnerships,” he stated.
He commended the Lagos Business School for exposing the team to a fast emerging market on the African continent, as well as the warm reception.

A Senior Lecturer, Strategy, Finance and Risk Management, Lagos Business School, Dr. Franklin Ngwu remarked that it was a great feat helping the South African Investment bankers to understudy the Nigerian financial sector to see areas of opportunity, investment and collaboration with the two countries. “We have exposed them to both the formal and informal aspects of the economy and we envisage a possible cooperation and investment between the two economies,” he said.

CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) Mr. Oscar Onyeama commended the Lagos Business School for the IEDP initiative, he stated that opportunities such as this affords the stock exchange an avenue to share relevant information which boosts confidence in the Nigerian capital markets and in turn the Nigerian economy.
Dean, Lagos Business School, Dr. Enase Okonedo expressed appreciation to all organisations that welcomed the LBS/IEDP-BANKSETA participants during their tour for showing support during the programme and wished the South African bankers a safe trip back home.

Some of the activities included visits to the International Centre for Commerce (ICC) Balogun Market, Lagos; NIKE Art Gallery; SLOT Systems Limited; Computer Village, and interactive sessions with Afri Invest, Ecobank and Fintech CEOs (Konga, Venture Garden, Interswitch etc.) Also included in the activities was a visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), where they got an expose into the Nigerian economy, the capital markets and participated in the activities of ringing the closing bell on the NSE trading floor. The participants were given adequate exposure to the Nigerian economy, culture and environment.

Banking Sector Education and Training Authority (BANKSETA) is a South African statutory body interested in promoting knowledge and skill acquisition in the financial sector.