Our Government Steals From Its Citizens

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As Nigerians we are constantly giving to those in government --
  1. We pay VAT on everything we buy. For every 200,000 naira we spend, we have given the government 10,000 naira. 
  2. The companies we work for remove between 15% and 40% of our gross salary and pay it straight to the government as payroll taxes. That is money you work crazy hard for and you don't ever get to see.
  3. Businesses pay 30% of their profit as corporate tax. That is a whooping 3 million naira out of every 10 million naira they make.
  4. Government claims our lands that have crude oil and leases them to foreign oil companies making a lot of money from them.
  5. Government lays claim to properties in a random manner as long as it sees a quick gain in them. It suddenly decides a house is built on government land or on land meant to be roads. It claims the citizens properties whenever it desires.
  6. International bodies (UN, WHO, USAID and DFID) donate money to be used directly for citizens benefits. Our government takes that money and makes sure we don't get a kobo of it in any benefit.
  7. The government keeps milking us by putting us at the mercies of corrupt police officers, thieving road safety officers, terrible non-free public schools, horrible non-free public health institutions and useless PHCN. We keep paying for things we shouldn't pay for, and twice (in tax and at point of disservice).

image: tmgapp.com

What do other governments use the money they collect from their citizens for:
  1. A national health scheme. Competent governments put a bulk of the money they collect from their citizens to build a robust, accessible, high quality and effective health institutions and schemes. They make it accessible to everyone whether you are poor or rich. Unfortunately, our government only use health projects to embezzle money and not for the benefit of its citizens.
  2. Social support. Competent governments put in place systems that ensure than its citizens do not live below the poverty line. They put in place support systems for the unemployed, the disabled, the elderly and the poor. Our government does the opposite. It ensures that the poor stay poor. Rather than provide social support, it has provided us a corrupt police to tyrannize the poor. It has provided us a 21st century disgrace called PHCN to keep the poor in the dark. It has provided a judicial system than gives the poor a life sentence for helping the rich to steal and gives that same rich man a paltry fine.
  3. Electricity, good roads, portable water, security, functioning public institutions and libraries. Our own government is ensuring we don't get any of those. It would rather spend our money on jumbo pay for politicians and their extended/adopted families with out of this world provision for their security and comfort, than let its citizens come close to comfort.
  4. A tourist haven. Competent governments make their country so beautiful and organized that tourists would flock in year after year. Our government is busy sending its officials and their families to other countries for health check-ups, shopping, MS Excel training, vacation and irrelevant conferences at 10 times to actual cost. It has no time and desire to make this country attractive to tourists.
  5. Census, economic measurements and research. Competent governments know the population of their country, they constantly track their economic activities and they spend on research that will improve the total well-being of their citizens. In Nigeria, we still don't know how many we are. Today it is 170 million, next week it is 160 million and even the government isn't consisted in sticking to just one wrong number, it keeps rotating the spurious numbers. All our research agencies are filled with the family members of ministers and government officials, all the research they do is how to make money disappear. 
When I compare our government to competent governments, I feel like being a Nigerian is a huge disadvantage.


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