The Ekiti state governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari was using the economic recession to punishing Nigerians and faulted the Federal Government’s decision to effect increment in Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax, pension and National Housing Fund (NHF) deductions which were applied on gross salary.
Fayose said by the new directive workers have as much 30 per cent reduction in their salary, claiming that as a ‘military head of state, Buhari used gun to deal with Nigerians, but now as a civilian president, he is using economic recession to punish Nigerians.
Describing the policy as obnoxious and capable of impoverishing the already pauperised workers, the governor added that it was wicked and inhuman for any government to increase taxes on workers salary at this period of economic recession when “workers take home can no longer take them home.”
“The federal government should stop believing that the only way it can take Nigeria out of recession is to impose obnoxious taxes that will further impoverish the people,” Fayose said in a statement on Sunday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka.
He said; “If government does not have capacity to increase workers salary at this trying period, it should not also increase taxes that will cause decrement in what workers earn.
“As military head of state, Buhari used gun to deal with Nigerians, now as a civilian president, he is using economic recession to punish Nigerians and adding salt to injury by using inhuman taxes to reduce workers salary.
“Buhari’s government increased petrol price from N87 to N145 per litre, kerosene; diesel and gas price was increased, electricity tariff was increased, N50 stamp duty was imposed on bank customers, N65 levy was imposed on every withdrawal on ATM, various bank charges introduced, custom duties increased and now workers’ PAYE tax has been increased.
“I sympathise with the federal government workers who only got to know about reduction of their salaries when they got credit alert last month, but they should remember that I warned them.
“Workers are already facing hardships owing to the economic recession, which has caused exchange rate to rise to as much as N480 to $1. The implication of this is that the purchasing power of a worker that is earning say N100,000 per month has reduced to less than N50,000 per month, meaning what such a worker bought at N10,000 this time last year is now should at N25,000.
“I therefore call on the federal government to reverse this decision so as to reduce the level at which the workers are suffering.”