ABCON urges FG to suspend tax hike - PUNCH
BY Nike Popoola
The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to suspend all increases in taxation and tariffs until the economy recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The association made the call in its quarterly economic review report for the second quarter of the year which was obtained on Monday.
It commended the recent decision to suspend the proposed hike in electricity tariff.
ABCON said, “Most importantly, government should, as a major policy during this COVID-19 recovery period, suspend any imposition or increase in taxation.
“Instead such shortfalls that might have emerged between national budget adjustments and expenditures should be covered by various financial support to COVID-19 from foreign and local contributors.
“In line with this observation, all current increases on tariffs and taxes could be deferred until when the economy recovered from the effects of the pandemic.”
ABCON also called for actions to minimise the disruptions in the food chain.
It said, “The lockdown and the consequent effects have been in Nigeria for about four months now in various states of the federation.
“One of the evident consequences of COVID-19 crisis is the potential to trigger a food security crisis in Nigeria, with agricultural production potentially contracting between 2.6 per cent in an optimistic scenario and up to seven per cent if there are trade blockages, according to a World Bank survey.
“Thus, there should be more emphasis on saving lives and protecting livelihoods through strengthening health systems and taking quick actions to minimise disruptions in food supply chains.”
The association said there should also be faster implementation of social protection programmes, including cash transfers, food distribution and fee waivers, to support citizens, especially those working in the informal sector.