FG's Tax on Phone calls Rejected by SERAP.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability group has rejected the plan by the plan by the Federal Government to impose 10% tax on every phone calls, text message sent and data used by Nigerians. The group urged President Muhammadu Buhari led government to roll out Social protection to ameliorate the suffering of Nigerians caused by the harsh economy instead of imposing more misery through this tax. SERAP said the recent economic recession has worsened the plight of the underprivileged in the society who for years have been suffering from corruption, abuse of power and underdevelopment in Nigeria. In an open letter by their Senior Staff counsel Mr Timothy Adewale on Sunday all this was said to the FG. SERAP  also called on the government to propose a legislation to end allocation of security votes to both federal and state governments which in their opinion is an avenue for diversion and embezzlement. Their letter reads thus “SERAP asks President Buhari to immediately drop the proposed 10 per cent tax on phone calls, text messages sent, and  data and more, as this would disproportionately affect the socially and economically vulnerable and push them deeper into poverty and deprivation.
“Increased poverty and the hunger that it brings will threaten the right to life and health of many socially and economically-vulnerable, including women and children. These groups of people are bearing the brunt and feeling the impacts of the economic crisis on their standards of living, their jobs and their homes.
“Your government has a binding obligation to ensure that all its policies to address the economic crisis are consistent with standards of human rights law.
“At the same time, the role of your government is to act as the guarantor of human rights of millions of impoverished Nigerians, including economic and social rights. Economic recession cannot be used as excuse for failing to fulfil these rights.
“We urge President Buhari to immediately provide economic stimulus packages that are focused on limiting the worst human consequences of the crisis, and give priority attention to the most vulnerable and marginalised in the distribution of resources.”



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