Nigeria’s Labor Union Demands Fair Taxation to Bridge Income Gap
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is urging the government to establish tax justice, a system where the wealthy pay a higher share of taxes compared to low-income individuals. Mr. Eustace James, NLC’s Focal Person on Tax Justice, emphasized this plea in an interview in Abuja.
James voiced concern about the unequal taxation system, where the rich, including public officials, often evade taxes despite enjoying public funds and luxury homes. He stressed the need to rectify this imbalance.
Speaking at the Fiscal Accountability for Inequality Reduction (FAIR4ALL) Project Media Colloquium and Exhibition, organized by Oxfam Nigeria with support from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, James highlighted the unfairness where low-income and vulnerable citizens bear a heavier tax burden while high-ranking officials often avoid their tax obligations.
Tax justice, as explained by James, seeks to bring fairness and equity to tax payments, eliminating exploitation and creating a just taxation basis. He emphasized that taxation is a vital means of financing public services and that every citizen should contribute. However, he lamented that in Nigeria, the burden falls disproportionately on the poor.
James clarified that expanding the tax base does not mean overtaxing the poor. Instead, it entails bringing wealthy tax evaders into the system to ensure equitable contributions.
The NLC is committed to championing tax justice and advocating for good governance to establish a fair tax system in Nigeria, according to James.