This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
RECESSION: INTRODUCE COW TAX & PARTY LEVY
INTRODUCE COW TAX & PARTY LEVY
As the current economic recession continues to bite hard,
inflation rate is above 18% while the exchange rate of the dollar stands at
N450 to one dollar. This has drastically reduced the purchasing power of the
average Nigerian. Yet a large section of the Nigerian population appears
unwilling to check their extravagant life style.
In an apparent suicidal commitment to Nigeria’s well known culture
of waste, society parties are still being organized, wands of naira and foreign
currencies are being sprayed, events places are hired at mouth-watering prices
while cows are slaughtered in their scores to entertain guests.
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) is deeply perturbed by this development. It proves that
Nigerians are yet to learn any lesson at all from the present economic
quagmire. We strongly condemn this culture of waste. We denounce the false
life, the flamboyance and the extravagance that have characterised the Nigerian
A nation whose citizens have unofficially registered themselves as
‘consumers without borders’ and whose main dogma in life is ‘item number 7’
will remain a dumping ground for used goods. A nation whose citizens waste so
much on funeral, wedding, naming and house-warming ceremonies cannot be
regarded as a serious nation by any standard.
We posit that although the fall in the price of crude oil at the
international market and economic sabotage are mainly responsible for the current
misfortune, it must also be understood that the present suffering is boldly and
clearly reflected in an apocalyptic verse in the Qur’an.
Allah gave the example of a city or nation which was peaceful,
secure and prosperous (e.g. Nigeria?). But when the citizens failed to
appreciate their Creator, when they waste resources and cheat their fellow men,
“…Allah made them taste hunger (economic downturn) and fear (insecurity: e.g. Boko
Haram, Niger Delta militancy, herdsmen saga, kidnapping, armed robbery) as a
result of their handiworks” (Qur’an 16:112).
MURIC calls on
governments at all levels to introduce a social intervention mechanism capable
of injecting heavy doses of discipline in the life styles of Nigerian citizens.
We suggest the introduction of ‘cow tax’ and ‘party levies’.
‘Cow tax’ should be charged on every cow slaughtered by citizens.
While cows slaughtered by butchers and meant for sale to consumers will be free
from this tax, a percentage capable of acting as deterrent against extravagance
should be charged on every cow slaughtered to entertain guests. This percentage
must rise as the number of cows slaughtered for the occasion increases.
Party levies should be collected from citizens who organize
parties in public places or in event centers and halls. Those who hold parties
in the privacy of their homes may be exempted. This may succeed in
re-engineering our merry-making mentality and discourage flamboyance. Nigerians
may thereafter redirect their focus to productive lives.
We suggest that the operation should be
monitored by local governments as they have the capacity to reach the
grassroots. Proceeds from ‘cow tax’ and ‘party levy’ should be used to fund public
primary schools in the local government. Part of the fund may also be used to
give free one meal per day to certified indigent citizens and elderly Nigerians
who are above 60 years of age.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)