By Akanimo Sampson
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation says the sun will shine again soon for small and medium enterprises in Nigeria as their Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has perfected a blueprint that will eliminate multiple taxation, slash income taxes, as well as commodity tax rates and increase government funding to small and medium enterprises, in key sectors of the economy.
This is coming as the party has also unveiled an alleged hidden agenda of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for the 2023 presidential race.
PDP said Osinbajo who is currently criss-crossing to mobilize electoral support for his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, was swimming in ‘’wishful thinking, even when it has become obvious that he and Buhari will no longer have any political relevance after May 29, 2019, given their dismal performance in an administration that is reputed as the worst, the most corrupt and the most abhorred in the history of Nigeria.’’
Party Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, who made these known in a statement said it was ludicrous that Osinbajo thinks he can sweet-talk and cajole the people of Western Nigeria to shed their already established support for Atiku, ‘’when they are the worst hit by his poor showing in the incompetent Buhari administration, particularly, as the head of the failed economic team that plunged our economy into recession.
‘’Our ambitious Vice President in his political hallucination has failed to realise that the South West is politically sophisticated and cannot fall for his gimmicks and self-serving venture. What should rather occupy Osinbajo’s mind, now that it is clear he is leaving office in May, 2019, is how to answer for the mindless looting of our patrimony, particularly the alleged looting of
huge part of the N33 billion meant for food and welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East, while he was acting President in 2017.’’
PDP wants Osinbajo to be getting ready with answers to the alleged diversion of huge funds in kickbacks on the ‘trader moni’ scheme, as well as the alleged looting of emergency funds in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to finance the wasteful lifestyle of All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and his benefactors.
‘’As a preacher and professor of law, our dear vice president should be ready to explain why he has not been outspoken against the killings and bloodletting in the country, the unending repression, human rights violations, disobedience to court orders, crass nepotism, killing of our soldiers and humongous corruption in the government he features prominently.
‘’We are finding it very unfortunate and completely appalling that Osinbajo has no concern about the plight and sufferings of Nigerians under President Buhari and that he wants them to continue to suffer for another four years, just for him to achieve his unattainable personal ambition of being a President.
‘’This position marks a clear difference between Atiku and Buhari who is planning to increase the suffering of Nigerians by imposing more taxes on them in the coming year. Our presidential candidate is personally worried over the current huge tax burden and hidden levies on businesses, common commodities and services by the Buhari administration, which has led to the prevalent economic strangulation, high costs and untold hardship being faced by compatriots’’, PDP said.
According to them, ‘’a detailed check on the tax regime under President Buhari’s administration shows that apart from huge capital gain taxes, which is crippling businesses and scaring away investors to other countries, Nigerians are also bearing the huge burden of hidden taxes on everyday consumer goods and services.
‘’It is more disheartening that proceeds from these hidden taxes are allegedly diverted to private purses of corrupt leaders of the APC and the cabal at the Buhari Presidency, while our infrastructures remain dilapidated.
‘’Nigerians should not to despair as Atiku has articulated a framework that would not only streamline tax administration in the country and ensure transparency in remittance andspending, but also support private businesses to thrive. Part of the framework in Atiku’s policy document shows a plan towards achieving the lowest corporate income tax rate in Africa, in order to make Nigeria one of the most attractive destinations for foreign direct investment.
‘’This is in addition to a plan to achieve “lower transaction costs (including lowering the capital gain tax) in order to attract investment and boost activities in the capital market”, as well as ensuring that the granting of qualification for tax incentives is in accordance with pre-determined, uniform and clear criteria.
‘’Part of such incentives for wealth creation includes, extending the mandate of the relevant government agencies to de-risking and provision of technical assistance for small and medium enterprises, increasing their funding window from the current N200 billion to N500 billion andenhancing their access to domestic and global markets for more profitable engagements.
‘’It is instructive to note that while President Buhari has confessed that he has no solution for our economy which he wrecked, our candidate, Atiku, offers solutions with blueprints that ensure
economic prosperity for all Nigerians at all levels.’’