The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) has demanded that the decision of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to impose stamp duty on all tenancy and lease agreements in the country amidst COVID-19 pandemic national lockdown that affected the economy and the peoples livelihood be reversed with immediate effect.
CUPP, in a statement released in Abuja on Tuesday, said it’s outrageous and insensitive for government to contemplate more taxes on Nigerians already impoverished by closure of their offices and businesses to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Chairman, Contact and Mobilization, and Member, Steering Committee, CUPP, Rev. Olusegun Peters, who signed the statement reminded government that millions of citizens have lost their jobs and many more yet to recover from the impact of this global pandemic, hence the need for reversal of the decision.
Peters said: “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, the Federal Government chooses to impose 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 that is flagrant abuse of office and must be resisted.”
They however, suggested that 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,” he said.