The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has tackled the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the opposition party’s rejection of the planned increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), describing it as crying wolf where none exists.
The pro-Buhari group also slammed the party for talking about matters that it does not have understanding.
The BMO stated this in its reaction to PDP’s rejection of the Federal Government’s plan to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5% to 7.2 %, urging it not to undermine a patriotic and genuine effort of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to raise the needed resources to address some of the major infrastructural needs of Nigerians.
It would be recalled that the PDP had called on the Federal Government to reverse its decision to increase VAT, adding that such planned increase would put more pressure on families and businesses and result in an increase in costs of goods and services.
The BMO said this in a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, adding that if the PDP is genuinely worried that Nigerians could not bear the burden of the 2.2% marginal increase in VAT “under the prevailing economic situation in the country”, the party should have first demonstrated its patriotism and genuine concern for Nigerians by directing its Governors, who were part and parcel of the decision to effect increase in the country’s tax regime, to reject the idea rather than calling on the Federal Government to reverse its decision on the new policy.
“In any case, States and Local Governments stand to benefit more from the increase in VAT; the States get 50% of the VAT collection, Local Governments get 35%, leaving the Federal Government with a paltry 15%.
“So it stands to reason that this particular increase in VAT is another bail-out mechanism designed by President Muhammadu Buhari to assuage the woes of those perennially broke tiers of government”, the group said.
The group further noted that even with the new marginal increase, Nigeria has one of the lowest VAT rates in the world, “and considering the huge infrastructural deficit the country is facing today, the current government has to think outside the box and look for how best to raise resources to meet some of the major needs of its people and also ensure that the impact does not put much burden on the citizenry.
“And this is what the government is trying to do with this marginal increase in VAT.”
BMO also reminded PDP and Nigerians that VAT is not paid on domestic foodstuffs and local transportation.
“Other items excluded from VAT are drugs, medical equipment, educational materials and other items that generally affect the purse of the man on the street.
“Essentially, VAT is payable on luxury goods, cigarette, wine, air travel and other luxury items that are the exclusive preserve of the rich and the opulent.
“Also in the light of global trend, it has become imperative for our government to harmonise Nigeria’s VAT rate with what obtains within the ECOWAS region. Even with the marginal increase of 2.2%, Nigeria is still far below all the African countries in the VAT rate regime.
“So what is PDP’s beef about; can it be that those who have grown rich from robbing our commonwealth, most of whom are in the PDP, are now going to pay more for their flamboyant lifestyle?
“It is highly unfortunate that a party that presided over the highest figure of oil receipts in the nation’s history now constitutes itself as a stumbling block to frustrate all genuine efforts of the current administration, which has shown much interest and has demonstrated strong capacity to address the poor infrastructure problems PDP fostered on the nation”, the group said.
BMO then called on all Nigerians to ignore the nay-sayers, and rally round President Muhammadu Buhari who has committed himself to good governance, and life more abundant to the Nigerian masses.
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