Fixing Nigeria’s Traffic Congestion with Covid-19 WFH Tax Policy

Fixing Nigeria’s Traffic Congestion with Covid-19 WFH Tax Policy

It is simple: if your Lagos, Port Harcourt or Kano company has approved remote work (yes, work from home, WFH), you may need to be considering a very nice community in Nigeria. It has broadband internet. It has good security. It offers 24/7 electricity. There are good primary and secondary schools nearby. And it has NO traffic. But the location is also “remote”!

Yes, if this WFH takes off, I do expect some progressive cities to offer some deals to Lagos, Kano and PHC residents to relocate. I do think if the Federal Government puts a tax muscle to it, we can solve our traffic congestion in Nigeria.

The tax model will reward the employers by encouraging companies to have WFH and get some incentives on PAYE and employee-related taxes: the more the workers are on WFH, the more progressive the tax benefits would be. The tax model must be weighted by looking at population density.

Covid-19 might have given Nigeria a roadmap to deal with its traffic congestion. Can we explore a new paradigm that deviates from building more roads to using tax policy to shape employer-employee decision making, at least temporarily, since we do not have the resources to fund the road networks? Add the largely unattainable situation of building new train stations and waterways in a time the nation does not have the resources, you will agree that WFH could offer value.

Some U.S. cities are getting creative.

As tech giants adapt and embrace working remotely, smaller U.S. cities are offering cash incentives for workers to move there. One program called Tulsa Remote offers a $10,000 grant and co-working space to remote workers interested in moving to Oklahoma. Another, Savannah Economic Development Authority, provides $2,000 grants to cover tech workers’ moving expenses to Georgia. Similar programs are available in Vermont, northwestern Alabama, and Topeka, Kansas, offering $5,000 to $15,000

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One thought on “Fixing Nigeria’s Traffic Congestion with Covid-19 WFH Tax Policy

  1. We can turn Nigeria into an experimental lab, but first you need people who can think quicker and know when to cut off funds from anything that doesn’t show promise; unfortunately we are very deficient on the latter. This is not a case of using the loaded phrase of ‘political will’, making it look like authorities know how to deliver but don’t want to. Not many people know how to, but we keep assuming they know, and they keep disappointing.

    An average politician still wants to do things he can brag about, but why do they always struggle? Yet we think they just want to fail. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with talent assessment here, we overrate average people and expect sterling performances from them, and the frustration continues.

    Which governor has a strategic vision with long-term goal saying, I want my state to be known for this and that, such that any Nigerian or foreigner who wants the best of those things will naturally come to my state and live? The only thing you hear from states is we want to be the food basket or mining hub; these are primitive aspirations, they offer no real value at scale.

    And as for federal government using tax, the same government that couldn’t make other seaports viable?

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