Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has accused President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) of plans “to tax Nigerians to death,” and said “Nigerians must resist any attempt to impose new tax on them.”
On the planned but now suspended tariff on data, the governor said the federal government’s plan to increase the cost of data as wicked, adding that “Most Nigerians are still alive today because they are kept busy by their access to social media. They relieve themselves of the burden of hunger and despair, placed on them by the federal government’s lack of policy direction by reading news and jokes, chatting with friends, watch comedy movies, etc.
“Denying them of this opportunity through increment in the cost of internet subscription will mean that the federal government deliberately wants many Nigerians, especially the youths to die of depression.”
In a release issued in Ado-Ekiti and obtained via facebook on Wednesday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said, “If the only way the federal government believes it can take Nigeria out of recession is to impose obnoxious taxes that will further impoverish the people, the federal government is not being fair to Nigerians.”
“Under 20 months of Buhari’s government, petrol price was increased from N87 to N145 per litre, kerosene; diesel and gas price was increased, electricity tariff was increased, N50 stamp duty was introduced on bank customers, 9% tax for the use of communication services like calls, SMS, MMS and data usage from telecommunication service providers; internet service providers and Pay TV Stations.
“It is also under this APC government that N65 levy was imposed on every withdrawal on ATM, various bank charges introduced, custom duties increased, increment of VAT from five per cent to 10 per cent contemplated, cost of vehicle plate numbers and drivers licence increased, and now cost of internet subscription is to be increased too. “Is this government out to tax Nigerians to death?”
According to him, it was strange that the federal government came with the idea less than three weeks after the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed complained about the damage being done to the image of the Buhari’s government by the social media.
“About three weeks ago, Lai Mohammed told Nigerians that social media was the greatest nightmare of the federal government and now, we are being told that federal government has told telecommunication providers to increase the cost of internet subscription. Is this not a way of indirectly restricting Nigerians from using social media?
“They tried to gag Nigerians, using the failed social media bill, now they want to use increment of internet subscription to achieve what they could not achieve with the social media bill last year. Nigerians must say no to this and I am standing with the youths of Nigeria to say no to any increment in the cost of data,” Fayose said.