By Victor Ahiuma-Young
LAGOS â€” The orgainsed labour yesterday kicked against the new Consumption Tax law of the Lagos State Government, saying government has taken advantage of the popularity assessment of the general public to cheat on Lagosians.
At a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and one of its affiliates, the National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), warned that labour would be forced to picket the Lagos State House of Assembly over theÂ law that couldÂ inflict hardship on hotel owners, workers and consumers in Lagos, alleging that over 10,000 workers may loose their jobs as soon as the tax is implemented.
Addressing newsmen, NLCâ€™s Assistant Secretary in-charge of organisation, Comrade Denja Yaqub, called on the Lagos State Government not to implement the law described as â€œdraconian Consumption taxâ€ on Lagosians because of its adverse effects.
According to him, â€œthe organised Labour is against the newly signed into law Consumption Tax that would take off from August 1, 2009 in totality. We call on the Lagos State Government not to implement the law because, we are going to resist it to the letter because of the over 10,000 workers that may loose their jobs as a result of the economic hardship that the law will inflict on hotel owners in Lagos. Labour has perfected plans to picket the House of Assemble anytime from next week to mount pressure on the government on implementing the law.â€
The State chairman of NUFBTE, Comrade Rowland Akinbogun, in his contribution said: â€œIt is expected that the Lagos State Government looks for a way to regain the former â€˜Sales Taxâ€™ now called Value Added Tax (VAT) taken away by the Federal Government than imposing another burden on hotel owners and workers in Lagos State.
Lagos, being the centre of excellence, cannot afford to face the industrial action that would erupt should the state government impose consumption tax law that would make consumers to pay for every service render by hotels in Lagos,â€ he added.