Subsidy removal: NGO seeks harmonisation of policy to include carbon tax

The Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem for Preservation (GIFSEP) has called on the federal government to consider harmonisation and inclusion of carbon in the tax subsidy removal policy.

Mr David Michael, GIFSEP Executive Director, during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lafia, said that inclusion of consumption tax into subsidy removal policy would lift millions out of poverty.

He said that signing of climate change bill into law, plans to remove fuel subsidy by February and proposed payment of N5,000 to 40 million Nigerians, is a major step in implementing the Glasgow Climate Pact.

Michael suggested including Carbon Fee and Dividend in the policy would make it more comprehensive and it would align with the federal government’s plan to lift 100 million persons out of poverty in 10 years.

“Carbon Fee and Dividend is the policy proposal created by Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) to internalise the costs of burning carbon-based fuels.

“It is the policy that climate scientists and economists alike said was the best step to reduce the likelihood of catastrophic climate change from global warming and for empowering the poor through basic climate income.

“The Carbon Fee policy is a steadily rising fee on the carbon dioxide (C02) content of fossil fuels, and to internalise the social cost of carbon.

“We can begin with an initial fee of N50,000 per tonne on the CO2 content of fossil fuels and rise to N75,000 per tonne; the fee can be imposed upstream at their point of extraction and collected upon entry into the economy,” he said.

Michael, who is also the Country Coordinator of Citizens Climate International, explained that the revenue from the Carbon Fee would be kept in a Carbon Fees Trust fund to be returned directly as a monthly dividend to households.

“The majority of households will receive more than they will pay for increased energy costs, and this will inject billions of naira into the economy and protect family budgets.

It will also  allows households to make independent choices about their energy usage, spur innovation and build aggregate demand for low-carbon products at the consumer level,” he said.

Michael said that the rising carbon fees on Green House Gas (GHG) emissions were the most economically efficient, transparent and enforceable mechanism to drive a transition to a low-carbon economy.

He said that giving all businesses and individuals’ incentive to reduce their carbon footprints, develop and  making available low or no carbon alternatives, would make the policy work effectively in the country.(NAN)