Group knocks Peter Obi over anti-Nigeria smear campaigns

The Tinubu Media Support Group (TMSG) has shown grave concerns over statements often credited to former Presidential candidate of the Labour Party Peter Obi and accused him of regularly engaging in smear campaigns against Nigeria since his electoral misadventure.


The TMSG expressed its displeasure against the backdrop of Peter Obi’s recent claim that small business owners in the country are without protection in the hands of extortionist thuggery groups masquerading as revenue collectors.


In a statement signed by its Chairman, Emeka Nwankpa and Secretary, Dapo Okubanjo, the group accused the opposition figure of resorting to falsehood to score cheap political points.


The statement reads in part, “Our attention has been drawn to the latest in the series of falsehood and demarketing campaign against the country and its leadership by Mr Peter Obi via his X handle.


“This time, Obi shared a video of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visiting stands at an African small business event in Toronto and in his usual style, he claimed that the only visits small business owners get in Nigeria are often what he called thuggery groups of revenue agents who were always on extortion drive.


“We consider this as an unfortunate comment, coming from someone who was a two-term governor and could have been vice president if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had won the 2019 presidential election.


“What we find more nauseating is that Peter Obi gave the impression that small businesses are facing heavy taxes under the Tinubu administration and have little or no access to funds. This can not be further from the truth.


“We know for a fact that since assuming office, President Tinubu had been working on tax reforms and only recently introduced a new withholding tax policy that exempted small businesses from paying rates which were between 5 percent and 10 percent.


“Even before then, there is also the Finance Act of 2020 which lessened the tax burden of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with annual turnover/sales/revenue of N25m or less by granting them exemptions from paying income and Value Added Tax VAT.


“We wonder how a politician that sought to be President in 2023 would not know of a law which has not been repealed and yet gave a wrong impression about tax burden of small business owners.


“While we would not deny the high-handedness of revenue agents at the grassroots level, especially under the Obi governorship of Anambra state, it is public knowledge that the Tinubu administration has been working on outlawing what it called ‘multiple and nuisance taxes’.


“For the avoidance of doubt, the Tinubu administration has since identified multiple taxes numbering 60 approved ones and 200 unapproved taxes, which would be streamlined to about 10 to ensure ease of doing business.


“We do know that this would be codified in a new bill and sent to the National Assembly by the time the Presidential Committee on Tax Reforms and Fiscal Policy completes its assignment. It is, therefore, ludicrous for any individual, if not for political bitternes and cheer antagonism, to make false claims on delicate issues.


“But what we do not know is why Obi who aspired to be President and not yet relenting would always go out of his way to regularly demarket or belittle the country that he is so hungry to lead.


“We do not think that is the way to go and hope that Peter Obi will reconsider his strategy but whether he reconsiders it or not, we urge Nigerians to see his antics as cheap and self serving.


TMSG is convinced that the tax reforms of the Tinubu administration will bring relief to small business owners in line with the president’s pro-business approach to governance.





Related posts