Mr Ahmed Raji, (SAN), an Abuja based legal practitioner has called on the Federal government to introduce a Wealth Tax Policy that will make very rich Nigerians pay the deserved tax that would be used to cater for the downtrodden citizens in the country.
Raji made the call on Sunday in Abuja at a public lecture entitled: “Taxing Powers in a Federal System” to mark his 60th birthday.
The Senior lawyer said that the suggested tax policy, if introduced and implemented, would make the extremely rich Nigerians to contribute meaningfully to government’s purse.
He added that this would bridge the gap between the affluent and the very poor in the country.
According to the senior lawyer, the time has come for government to do real balancing between the rich and the poor in Nigeria.
He maintained that in the face of harsh economic situation starring poor Nigerians in the face, the poor needed to be considered and not taxed under any guise so as to balance their anger against the rich.
The senior lawyer submitted that evidence was sufficient that some very rich people in the society owned personal jets worth 50 million dollars each at a time when some families could not afford to eat twice a day.
He argued that it would be difficult for the country to witness genuine peace under such a situation.
“It is a fact that the downturn in Nigeria’s economy is having harsh and devastating effects on the poor majority Nigerians.
” The wide disparity between the rich and the poor should be of grave concern to patriotic Nigerians and the way out must be found.
“The gap between the rich and the poor is so much and so offensive that it can lead to break down of law and order at any moment.
He noted that a large number of the Nigerians were living in abject poverty and time had come for the situation to be addressed.
“Any attempt to pretend that all is well may spell doom for the nation. We will be sitting on a keg of powder if we refuse to address the challenges of the poor masses now” he said.
Raji said that he decided to use the public lecture to mark his birthday so as to use it to draw attention to some burning issues and challenges that deserved public attention rather than mere merry making.(NAN)