By G9ija

A group, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), yesterday opposed the Federal Government’s decision to increase taxes, saying the poverty rates in the country will increase.

Addressing journalists at a talent hunt festival tagged, “Youth talent hunt and Empowerment as catalysts to drive renewable energy sector development in Nigeria”, the Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action (ERA), Dr. Godwin Ojo, said the development had affected the development of the country.

The group faulted increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT) from five per cent to 7.5 per cent as well as the hike in the price of fuel and electricity tariff.

Ojo said the decisions were not in the interest of the masses who have not recovered from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 lockdown.

According to the group, the fuel hike has resulted in increase in transport fares and cost of food items. He also criticised Nigeria’s overdependence on oil exports and urged Federal Government to change the situation. Ojo also said Nigeria should strive to reduce its carbon footprint in line with the Paris Agreement in 2015.

“This programme from extraction to education is currently focusing on youth empowerment to re-orient them and the policymakers to move away from oil dependency,” the group said.”

“The initiative is addressing the energy poverty in Nigeria by the promotion of innovative solar energy products.” He added that reducing the country’s carbon footprint would help provide opportunities and logistics support for youths to enable them to “lead in the production of innovative cleaner technologies to drive the renewable energy sector”.