The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Senate to assert its independence and refuse to allow the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive to railroad it into passing the Value Added Tax (VAT) increase bill, which it said had been rejected by Nigerians.
The party expressed concerns that the bill had been hurriedly passed through second reading in the Senate even when the details were not made available to lawmakers.
It further noted that the failure to avail the details of the bill to the lawmakers confirmed its toxicity to the polity.
This was contained in a statement the national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, released on Friday, calling on the Senate leadership to bear in mind that “Nigerians have rejected the bill, which is designed by the Buhari Presidency to increase VAT from 5 per cent to excruciating 7.5 per cent not minding its attendant adverse economic effect on Nigerians.”
The statement read in part, “Such planned increase in VAT is insensitive, suppressive and if anything, will further impoverish Nigerians and worsen the prevailing agonizing economic situation in the country.
“The National Assembly, as the true representatives of the people at the federal level, should therefore protect Nigerians by ensuring that such an anti-people policy does not receive a final legislative stamp.”
The Senate had during its Wednesday plenary, passed the bill, which has generated much controversy in the country, for second reading.
The passage came amid complaints by some senators that they were not given copies of it and did not know what the proposed legislation contained.