Oxfam Nigeria, public presentation of its report tagged “Inequality Kills’’
The Federal and state governments have been urged to introduce permanent wealth and capital taxes on wealthy Nigerians to combat the increasing gaps of economic and social inequalities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The country Director of a non-governmental organisation, Oxfam Nigeria, Dr Vincent Ahonsi made the call in Abuja during a public presentation of its Report tagged “Inequality Kills”.
Dr Ahonsi represented by the Oxfam programmes officer, Mr. Henry Ushie explained that findings of the report revealed that inequality was contributing to the death of at least 21 thousand people each day due to lack of access to healthcare, gender-based violence and hunger.
“In Nigeria, billionaires saw their wealth increase by 38% during the pandemic while 7.4million people estimated to have fallen into extreme poverty in 2020. It is disappointing that the two richest billionaires in Nigeria have more wealth than the bottom 63 million Nigreians. It is about time we begin to correct these extreme inequalities” he said
The Executive Director, Civil Society legislative Advocacy Center, CISLAC, Mr Awwal Rafsanjani said the introduction of new taxes on everyday products and services would create more inequalities and increase poverty which is a threat to achieving the sustainable development goals.
“Those who are supposed to pay the taxes, they should be made to pay the tax, otherwise if you continue to place the burden of economic recession on the ordinary poor person, then you are actually creating more inequalities”
Mr Awwal Rafsanjani further said the rate of inequalities in the country had also contributed to surge in crimes, insurgency and banditry which threatens development and social investments.
The report also revealed that the wealth of the 10 richest men in the world had doubled while the incomes of 99 percent of humanity were worse off due to COVID- 19 Pandemic.
Reporting by Azizatu Sani, editing by Asare Benjamin, Daniel Adejo.