As part of measures to cushion the effect of coronavirus on Nigerians, the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to reconsider the newly introduced six percent stamp duty charge on tenancy and lease agreements at this austere times.
It would be recalled that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) had last week directed landlords and property agents to charge six percent stamp duty on all tenancy and lease agreements.
However, the Muslim society said that introducing stamp duty for Nigerians badly hit with effect of coronavirus would be a big burden for tenants who are still hoping the government would grant tax relief and tariffs reductions among others to protect them from jobs loss amid the pandemic.
The society’s President, Dr. Abdul-Rafiu Sanni, explained that the call had become imperative to further help governments in the battle against the deadly pandemic and mitigate the negative economic effects of the disease on the people and halt economic turbulence.
He said that the suggested measures and reconsideration would facilitate timely and accurate protection for Nigerians from the current uncertainties which had left many jobless and daily contributing to unemployment statistics in the country.
Sanni, through his Sallah message contained in a statement and released to newsmen, said that the tax relief and other incentives would augment earlier palliative measures rolled out by the government to vulnerable residents across the nation and serve as a safe basket for working-class and business owners in the country.
“I want to appeal to the Nigerian Government to reconsider their position on the introduction of stamp duty on tenancy and lease agreements when the majority of Nigerians workers are losing their jobs or being paid fractions of their salaries, as companies are downsizing or closing down their operations.
“I wish to reiterate that Government should put measures in place to cushion the effects of the lockdown on the citizenry by granting tax relief, reducing tariffs and assisting SME’s in stabilizing their businesses in order to minimize another likely loss of jobs before the end of the year,” the statement added.
Sanni, however, commended the federal government’s emergency response to the pandemic across the nation and urged Nigerians on the need to comply with advised preventive measures such as regular handwashing and social distancing.
“I commend the Nigerian Government particularly and Governments across the globe for the frantic efforts to combat this pandemic. l also want to appreciate the efforts of governments, corporate bodies, and individuals through economic buffers (palliatives and other incentives) to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
“In the same vein, I urge us to take personal responsibility for our lives through compliance with directives of governments and relevant agencies on the ravaging pandemic which is now at its peak.
“We should try as much as possible to stay home and stay safe. If you must go out, please ensure you wear a face mask. Kindly note that regular washing of hands, social and physical distancing are mandatory for our collective survival and flattening the curve of COVID19,” the statement read.