A rights advocacy group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, has advised the Federal Government to drop its plan to impose 10 per cent tax on every phone call made, text message sent and data used by Nigerians.
The group in an open letter by its Senior Staff counsel, Timothy Adewale on Sunday, stated that Nigeria’s economic recession was enough plight, adding Nigerians were already victims of long years of corruption, abuse of power and underdevelopment in the country.
The letter reads in part, “SERAP asks President Buhari to immediately drop the proposed 10 per cent tax on phone calls, text messages, data and more, as this would disproportionately affect the socially and economically vulnerable and push them deeper into poverty and deprivation.
“Increased poverty and the hunger that it brings will threaten the right to life and health of many socially and economically-vulnerable, including women and children. These groups of people are bearing the brunt and feeling the impacts of the economic crisis on their standards of living, their jobs and their homes.
“Your government has a binding obligation to ensure that all its policies to address the economic crisis are consistent with standards of human rights law.
“At the same time, the role of your government is to act as the guarantor of human rights of millions of impoverished Nigerians, including economic and social rights. Economic recession cannot be used as excuse for failing to fulfil these rights.
“We urge President Buhari to immediately provide economic stimulus packages that are focused on limiting the worst human consequences of the crisis, and give priority attention to the most vulnerable and marginalised in the distribution of resources.”