The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), has advocated for a proper implementation of tax justice to enable higher-income earners in the country pay higher taxes than low-income earners.
Mr Eustace James, NLC Focal Person on Tax Justice, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja.
“Those who occupy public offices, those who erect mighty buildings with public funds and yet they don’t pay taxes should be made to pay taxes accordingly, ” he said.
James was speaking at the Fiscal Accountability for Inequality Reduction (FAIR4ALL) Project Media Colloquium and Exhibition organised by Oxfam Nigeria and supported by Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
He decried the system where low income earners and the vulnerable in the society pay higher and double taxes while those occupying high public offices do not pay taxes.
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“Tax justice is about bringing equity and justice to tax payment, about people paying based on what they earn.
“It is about eliminating extortion and exploitation of the poor as well as taxing on the basis of pure justice, ” he said.
James, who identified tax justice as key to decent work, added that tax is the most sustainable means of public finance.
“So, tax is an obligation of every citizen but what has been the issue in Nigeria is that the poor pay more than the rich.
“When you talk about tax net expansion, it is not about taxing the poor more, it is about taxing the rich who are not paying tax in order to contribute to the tax basket, ” James said.
He explained that the poor are those who are exploited and extorted in the name of multiple taxations while the rich keep invading and avoiding taxes.
According to him, the tax justice campaign has brought tax payment into the limelight to address inequality and injustice.
“We, in NLC have no option than to key into this campaign and to also be the champion of tax justice and good governance, ” he said.