Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Nigeria have expressed concern over Federal Government’s plan to grant tax incentives to investors in the power sector to enable them garner investments in the sector.
This is according to a statement, signed by the leaders of Tax Justice and Governance Platform Nigeria, Harry Udoh, Chibundu Uchegbu and Mr James Eustace on behalf of the Nigeria Labour Congress on Wednesday.
The CSOs said that the country had already lost revenue that would have accrued from taxes in that sector because of the pioneer status incentive already granted to these investors.
The groups said that a further tax holiday incentive should not be considered for these investors, who by right ought to have proven their technical and financial capacity as perequisite for participating in the sector.
“The major intent of the Federal Government privatising the power sector was to provide a lasting solution to the problem that bedeviled the sector.
Contrary to the expectations of the Nigerian citizenry, the power sector has degenerated to an even more deplorable state than before it was privatised.
Add to the fact that Nigerians are not getting value for the services they pay for, rather the public is paying for darkness and the serial increment in electricity tariff has further impoverished Nigerians.
Therefore, the proposed tax holiday is not targeted at making electricity available for Nigerians, but to serve the purpose of the elites who are benefiting from the so-called privatisation of the power sector,’’ they said.
The CSOs urged the Federal Government to stop further granting of incentive such as tax holidays and waivers to the operators of the power sector at the expense of Nigerians.
They also called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the power sector and prioritise investment in the sector.
According to them, there is the need to review the entire privatisation process in order to re-evaluate both the technical and financial capacities of the operators.