The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), on Sunday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital advised the Federal Government tell Nigerians through mapped out policies and programmes how it would revive the country’s economy.
Ayuba Wabba, the NLC President, told NAN that well defined policies should be formulated to address the various economic challenges confronting the nation.
“The challenge in the economy is obviously monumental, if you look at all the indices in the economy, you will know that we are actually in for difficult time.
“The continuous depreciation of the currency in recent times at the parallel market and the downward trend in the global oil price, call for re-think.
“I think it is time for us to be determined as a people, and I think it is important for our political leaders to look at other options of how to respond to these issues.
“We need very sound economic policies that will address the country’s challenges, and part of it is to diversify our sources of revenue.”
Wabba urged the government to fashion out ways of boosting internal revenue, adding that it should include payment of tax for any goods purchased. “I have said on different occasions that it is only Nigerian workers that are paying the correct taxes to government coffers.
“The multinational companies and the political leaders who are making billions of naira are not paying the correct taxes. “I think it is time for government to take the issue of taxation seriously, if you have stocked monies in the banks, you need to pay taxes on the monies.
“We need to pay all manner of taxes just like in some other parts of the world, where people are paying tax on everything purchased because it will generate revenue internally.”
He, however, said that there were a lot of loop holes in the process of tax collection in the country, which needed to be corrected.
The NLC president said that the importation of unnecessary products into the country had put pressure on the country’s currency. “This is because we need dollars to import such products and this has put high demand on foreign exchange.
“I think, we need to prioritise what we need to import as a country in the economic policy of government. “Anything we can produce in Nigeria, there is no need to import it but rather encourage our local manufacturing companies to produce it instead of relying solely on importation.
“This is going to reduce pressure on the demand for foreign currency, including the issue of the importation of refined oil products.
“This is because one area that takes the large chunk of our foreign exchange is the continuous importation of refined oil products.”
Wabba urged the government to accord priority to agriculture as well as exploit solid minerals that were in abundance in the country.
He said this would create market opportunities for some of the products to be exported, as well as boost the nation’s economy.