March 27, 2019

VAT increment will slow down Nigeria economy — ACTIONAID

taxation symbol

By Boluwaji Obahopo & Ezra Ukanwa

Actionaid Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to forget the idea of increasing Value Added Tax, VAT, warning that it will slow down the economy, urging government to discontinue payment of subsidy on petroleum products instead.

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In a statement by its Country Communication Coordinator, Niniola Ayanda, yesterday, the group said: ”Rather than an increase in VAT at this time, other avenues could be explored in the short term such as the removal of petroleum subsidy, which many have argued does not benefit the Nigerian populace.

“The plugging of fiscal leakages, a move which is currently being enforced by the present administration, can also be further strengthened.

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”If VAT increase were to be implemented by the government, several measures should be taken to ensure that the objective of the increase is realised.

“An instance is the provision of the relevant technology to ensure proper monitoring, collection and elimination of leakages.

“The VAT increase could be varied relative to the kind of goods/services being purchased, since the effect on the poor would be greater than on the rich.”

Ayanda further commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for its efforts in the elections, noting that the Electoral Act and other related laws needed a total review ahead the 2023 general elections.

She stated that as much as possible, the country’s electoral process needed to be automated.