By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has asked the federal government to do something about the excessive and multiple taxation on its members.
The union also asked the government to consider the cessation of the National Housing Fund, which it said has lost its usefulness.
The union in a statement issued yesterday by the General Secretary of NASU, Mr. Peters Adeyemi, lamented the situation where workers especially those in the low income bracket are subjected to all manner of taxes.
“In Nigeria only workers pay taxes while the big businesses get tax exemptions and tax holidays.
NASU further said that majority of workers are subjected to property tax and lamented that only workers in low income brackets that would pay the recently introduced communications tax, adding that wealthy business men, their top echelon employees, their class collaborators in the political class as well as public service bureaucrats do not pay communications tax.
According to the union, these privileged few have their calls paid for by their big businesses and governments.
“When it is all added up, it is only NASU members and other workers as well as the downtrodden masses of this country that pay taxes. The burden of excessive and multiple taxation has impoverished the average Nigerian worker. The salaries and wages paid to them have become slave wages, forcing our members to live below internationally declared poverty line.
“The whole issue is compounded by the absence of any social security safety net in the country and the fact that they are not counted among the 10,695,360 individual households the federal government declared as poor households in Nigeria as at 29th February 2020, which disqualified them from the conditional cash transfers of the federal government. The reason is that our poverty ridden members are erroneously termed to be gainfully employed,” the union said.
NASU described the NHF as “an unprogressive tax that is unprofitable to the contributors and the nation and therefore has to be stopped.”
Under the extant NHF Law 1992, every Nigerian earning N3,000 or more per annum is required to contribute 2.5 per cent of their monthly basic salary to the NHF.