According to new report, it has finally been revealed how and why 5 Nigerians richest men are far worth more than the Nigerian budget in a fiscal year.
In a report, co-authored with financial consultancy Development Finance International, West African countries were ranked on their commitment to public spending, taxation and labour markets.
The aid charity Oxfam has expressed concern over the wide gap of inequality between the richest and the common man which is at crisis levels in West Africa, accusing many governments in the region of ignoring the issue, despite economic growth.
Citing several eye-catching statistics, the author highlighted the state of inequality that exist between the richest and the common man in the statistics evaluated below
According to the statistics, the “wealthiest 1% of West Africans own more than everyone else in the region combined”.
The report also says that the combined wealth of Nigeria’s five richest men – $29.9bn (£24bn) – is more than the government’s budget in 2017.
This report however reveals the main reason why the richest will continue to maintain their place while the poor get poorer. The reason for this has been revealed to be the inequality of tax structure which tax both the poor and the rich in the same measure.
As unfair as it may look, the statistics emphasizes that the reason why the 5 top richest Nigerian are far richer than the government is as a result of how they escape tax in that they are not being taxed in the proportion of their wealth thereby making them escape tax and in the process getting far more than what the country can use in her budget for a fiscal year.
Overall, the authors found that the three countries most committed to reducing inequality were Cape Verde, Mauritania and Senegal.
And the least committed were Niger, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the BBC reports.
To address the problems “West African governments must promote progressive taxation, boost social spending, strengthen labour market protection, invest in agriculture and strengthen land rights for smallholder farmers,” Oxfam’s Adama Coulibaly said.
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