The Nigerian Syndrome

“One upside to this regime of Upward tax revenues is that it might finally break Nigerians out of default mumu-mode re govt accountability” Tolu Ogunlesi

I read the above quote yesterday and it had me in stiches because I completely agree with Mr. Tolu on this issue of increased taxes and how it might push Nigerians to hold government more accountable. I am so glad that oil prices are going to the gutters and we have been forced to work on loop-holes and force the government to think of new ways to generate revenue.

For those of you not on social media or avid radio listeners you perhaps didn’t get wind of the various interpretations given to the move by the government to implement provisions of the Stamp Duties Act and Federal Government Financial Regulations of 2009. Some radio presenters said you will be charged 50 naira on every 1000 naira received, some others said it is one 50 naira charge for a total amount received over 1000 naira. I wonder what the facts are, the Nigerian conventional media is known for speculating instead of conducting proper research and presenting facts. Whatever the facts are taxes are going up in one way or the other yaaay!

So back to why I agree with Mr Tolu, my number one reason is the attitude of many Nigerians to this fight against past corrupt officials. I have been shocked my many responses when I have discussed with people about these ex-politicians or government officials with massive corruption cases hanging over their heads. People say things like: ‘The government is focusing too much on corruption’, ‘why are they only chasing ex-PDP members’ ‘Let’s start the probe from 1960’, ‘he only stole 100 million naira’ and other ridiculous statements.

Obviously people do not understand why ‘countries’ and ‘government structures’ were formed in the first place; if they did they will definitely not be talking like that. Better still, if people pay over 40 percent of their income in some form of taxes to the government I will be damned if they feel sympathy towards an alleged thieving politician or government official.

I was told a story of a Swedish politician (read up on the Mona Sahlin”Toblerone affair”) who lost an election and destroyed her political career because the media revealed that she had bought some chocolates with her government credit card. Harsh? definitely, but the Swedes pay over 40percent of their incomes in taxes and I will be damned if they ever feel sorry for a anyone connected to corruption let alone put anyone with a shady past in charge of their finances. Obviously all countries get it wrong sometimes but in this case though I am certain that the government increasing taxes will make us hold them to account more and stop making excuses for criminals. Things like vandalisation of properties will also reduce when people understand that it is their tax that is used to build infrastructure and not some free for all crude oil produce (death to oil).

NIGERIAN SYNDROME: “A play on the Stockholm syndrome, is a psychological condition where Nigerians feel sympathy towards government officials and politicians who have looted all their resources and mortgaged their futures”. To complete Reading this post, follow this link:


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