By Emmanuel Egobiambu
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria Catriona Laing has listed raising taxation among three things Nigeria’s next president should focus on.
Laing was speaking on Tuesday when she was featured on Channels Television’s election programme The 2023 Verdict.
“There are two or three key decisions that the incoming president must take. Number one is to remove the fuel subsidy which is draining but to do it in a way that protects poor people,” the British envoy said during his appearance on the show.
“Secondly is to tackle the multiple exchange rates or else businesses just will not invest in this country if they can’t secure their foreign exchange. And three, raise taxes. You have one of the lowest tax ratios in the modern world. And without raising revenue, you can’t invest in public services. And public services, infrastructure, education is key to the future.”
According to her, the next government should also embrace inclusiveness and ensure youths and women are prioritised.
She argued that “a strong inclusive team” will help the next Nigerian leader to tackle the country’s “pretty enormous challenges”.
For her, the next president should equally “bring all that talent together and reach out to other political parties”.
The British High Commissioner who said her country is keenly watching the next elections decried the rising levels of violence in the leadup to this month’s exercise.
“There is a worrying round of insecurity and violence. In this pre-election period, the number of incidents is higher than in the last election,” she said, expressing concerns about safety after the elections.
“That’s one of my fears and worries but assuming we can get through that, the future looks bright for Nigeria with the incoming president – whoever it is – tackling these challenges [facing the country],” she said.
“The UK, like most of the international community, wants Nigeria to succeed.”