The Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL) hereby expresses its solidarity and support with the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural gas workers (NUPENG) and its sister body, the Petroleum and Natural gas workers senior staff association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on its planned warning strike over the obnoxious Social Services Contributory Levy law as the IHRHL prepares to contest the constitutionality of the Law in a Court of Law.
The IHRHL notes that the Rivers State Social Services Contributory Levy Law No. 9 2010 is ill advised; selfish, anti-social, democratically deficit, lacks transparency and accountability in the use of funds generated from the taxes and is an apparent instrument of fiscal exploitation of the already impoverished citizens of Rivers state. Furthermore, the Law was passed against the wishes and aspirations of Rivers people and the planned warning strike by the NUPENG and PENGASSAN is a welcome development at resisting its application.
The IHRHL also notes that the Law seeks to throw the state government’s constitutional duties of ensuring the security and welfare of its citizens off its shoulders and saddle it on the people of Rivers State despite huge monthly allocations coming to the state and billions of Naira accruing to the state as internally generated revenue which the state government has been unable to judiciously account for.
The IHRHL also uses this medium to call other labor unions, Civil Society groups and the generality of Rivers residents to rise up and oppose the application of the Social Services Contributory Levy Law as it is unequivocally an exploitative tool and a weapon for social deprivation capable of furthering socio-economic inequality and extreme poverty in the state.
Every civilized law and law making frowns seriously on instruments aimed at punishing individuals doubly as the present law seeks to do.
Nkasi Wodu Esq.
Program Officer, Economic, Social and Cultural rights
Institute of human rights and humanitarian law (IHRHL)