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Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

in this time of recession, Godwin Emefiele who is the governor of CBN proposes to the federal government to impose tax on the upper class, middle class and long phone call makers after their third minute on a call, at the 2016 Annual Bankers’ Dinner hosted by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on friday, in Lagos, while speaking on the topic: “Policy options for reversing Nigeria’s economic downturn”. He said such tax will be an alternative source of income for the country and can generate N100 billion annually into the federal government coffers.

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“There are several ways we can raise additional revenue to finance the increased expenditure that is needed to engender fast and sustainable growth in the economy. I think we can consider introducing a negligible telecom surcharge to be entirely borne by the initiator of a call. In order to protect the poor and vulnerable amongst us, we could structure it to only take effect after the third minute of talk. Some analyses have indicated that the government could earn about N100 billion per annum from this alone,” he stated.

Emefiele explained that the tax will be paid by middle and upper class people due to the fact that many poor people do not make calls for up to or more than three minutes. He also explained that stagflation occurs when a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is falling or stagnant while unemployment and inflation are rising simultaneously.

Still on taxes, the CBN governor also said the government should also consider introducing minimal property taxes through out the country. “This not only raises money for the government but also could be a veritable weapon against corruption since it creates a database of who really owns homes in this country. Another option to consider would be to fully implement the 2003 Cabotage Act. This is Act stipulates that all cargoes and passengers in the inland and coastal waters be transported by ships and ferries built, owned, crewed and manned by Nigerians,” he said.

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