House of Representatives member Olufemi Fakeye called on the federal government to tax Nigerian self-employed workers because they would make a lot of money.
Fakeye said this on Wednesday while commenting on the 2022 budget during the plenary session on the floor of the house, saying it would allow the federal government to increase its revenues.
He said: “I am aware of this right now and it has been said here that only two quarterly releases have been done now, we are in the last quarter of the year. It is a joke about how much effort we put in day in and day out to make sure the budget gets passed on time.
“I pay attention to the shortfalls for the government. I remember when I was young everyone paid taxes. Whether you are a farmer, your daddy was a carpenter, whatever he did for a living he paid taxes.
“Now we have tended to forgive everyone their tax except those with income where the tax is taken from your income and the rest is paid to you.
“I think our tax reform should be such that every Nigerian has a chance to contribute. Go there and talk to 80 or 90 percent of Nigerians, many of whom are self-employed; they no longer pay taxes.
Small businesses with an annual turnover of less than N25 million are exempt from corporate income tax under the 2020 Finance Law.
However, the member of the All Progressives Congress, representing the federal constituency of Boluwaduro / Ifedayo / Ila in Osun state, believes that taxing small businesses will generate enough revenue for the government.
“So when we hear the federal tax service or tax organizations, or even joint tax commissions widening the tax net, why are they hesitant to find a way to make people pay – whether you’re a carpenter, a taxi driver, whether or not you sell rice in the market. These people make a lot of money, but they don’t pay anything. So I think this is an area that I would like to see increased income, ”he added.