The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has condemned the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) imposition of stamp duty on all tenancy and lease agreements in the country amidst COVID-19 pandemic national lockdown that affected the economy and the people’s livelihoods.
CUPP said it is outrageous and insensitive for government to contemplate more taxes on Nigerians already impoverished by the closure of their offices and businesses to contain the spread of coronavirus.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Chairman, Contact and Mobilisation, and Member, Steering Committee of CUPP, Reverend Olusegun Peters.
The statement said millions of citizens have lost their jobs and many more yet to recover from the impact of this global pandemic.
“Instead of providing palliatives, essential services and tax exemption to the populace to assuage the effect of COVID-19 pandemic as obtainable in other countries this period, the federal government is imposing outrageous stamp duty on the people.
“Government at all levels should have a human face and desist from making obnoxious, draconian and repulsive policies that will worsen the plights of the masses.
“The welfare of the people should be the watchword of all governments in Nigeria in tandem with section 14(2)b of the 1999 constitution as amended, which provides that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Anything short of this is a flagrant abuse of office and must be resisted,” the statement said.
CUPP further said the federal government should further relax the COVID-19 lockdown, stimulate the economy by injecting more funds, execute capital projects, bailout critical industries, grant interest-free loans to entrepreneurs affected by the lockdown and provide public services including regular power supply that will accelerate the economy.
“This should be the priority of any serious government. Once the economy is revived, the people will easily pay their taxes necessary to provide more utilities and amenities,” the statement added.