Taiwo Oyedele, a Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader at PwC, chided the government for taxing poverty in Nigeria. He urged the government to explore an inclusive economic growth rate that will focus on taxes; reduce the economic burden on SMEs, and increase the tax net of non-paying upper middle-class institutions, especially the MDAs.
Responding to a question about why Nigeria’s GDP growth rate has remained under 5%;, he said, “GDP growth is under 2% in ten years, and population growth has maintained at 3%. This means every day more people are falling into poverty. Growth rate is not inclusive.”
He also mentioned that Nigeria’s rising inequality needs to be considered, warning that if nothing is done; Nigeria may end up like Sri Lanka. He warned that some households with employment are spending most of their household income on food; as the food inflation rate continues to rise.
“What we need to do is make the country work for everyone. Almost 100 million people are living in poverty in Nigeria,” Oyedele stated, urging that government welfare policies need to have more impact; as sharing N5,000 to the poorest won’t go far.