The Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, has said advised the Federal Government against increasing value added tax (VAT) from 5 percent to 10 percent.
“Any increment in VAT or any other tax being paid by Nigerians at this time will further make life unbearable for the people,” Fayose said in a statement signed by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka.
He quoted Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to have said in Lagos on Thursday that the 5% rate for VAT was low and would need to be increased.
The governor said any increment in VAT would overburden the populace who are currently battling with nationwide fuel scarcity and increment in electricity tariff without commensurate power supply.
“Under three months, electricity tariff was increased despite epileptic power supply, N50 stamp duty was imposed on bank customers for money received into their accounts via electronic transfer, cash and cheques; petrol is being sold for as high as N400 per litre and now they are talking about increasing VAT to 10 per cent, this is the height of insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians,” he said.
The governor, who lamented the increase in the cost of living of Nigerians, occasioned by the bad economic policies of the Federal Government, said “even recent figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that prices of food have hit a record high and inflation is worsening.
“How can the government be considering 100 percent increment in VAT when businesses are folding up, prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed, millions of Nigerians are losing their jobs and those who are still employed are no longer getting paid regularly?
“For even contemplating the increment of VAT at this difficult time shows that the Buhari-led government does not care about the welfare of the citizens and only God will save the poor masses from the hands of this government.”
Governor Fayose said rather than imposing more hardships on Nigerians, President Buhari should seek help from experts on how best to revive the country’s economy, adding that; “As at today, the Buhari-led government is yet to show that it has any clue to the revival of the economy.”