The Federal Government’s policy that effective from January 2020, Nigerians must produce their Tax Identification Numbers (TIN) before they can operate existing or new accounts have been opposed by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Action Aid Nigeria.
The policy, according to them, would encourage people to keep their money at home rather than banking it, adding that the current unemployment level makes the policy unworkable.
The Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi who stated this at the National Tax Summit organised by ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with the Tax Justice and Governance platform, yesterday in Abuja, called on the government to review the policy considering the number of unemployed youths.
According to her, the level of unemployment in the country is high and it would be very difficult for an unemployed Nigerian to get TIN, urging that Nigerians who already have a Bank Verification Number (BVN) should be allowed to harmonise it with their TIN.
She stressed the need for the government to consult widely before going ahead with the policy adding that the government must make Tax work for Nigerians especially those who earn very little.
She said: “There is too much confusion about how many taxes Nigerians are paying; if you go to withdraw money for the ATM, you pay charges to the bank, even without withdrawal there is tax on it.
“If money for taxes is harnessed enough and widened by means of industrialisation to create jobs for the masses, the money can work for us,” she said.
She explained that the summit is seeking to address issues of people with multiple taxation, VAT increment, among others.
Also, the Assistant General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), James Eustace proffered that the best way to go is to widen the tax network and explore all possibilities to ensure that big businesses, big corporations pay their correct share of taxes.
According to him, these will ensure that effective tax regime are reviewed and implemented constructively, so that Nigerians can get benefit for it.