Took them long enough, but the Nigerian senate is finally putting its foot down on the VAT hike

VAT

For the last few months, the Federal government has been seriously cash strapped and growing increasingly desperate in the ways they seek to find money to finance their largely wasteful government. One of the ways they have proposed is the new Finance Act Amendment Bill. The Bill was written as a way to justify to amend Nigeria’s fiscal and tax law, targeting the average Nigerian in more insidious ways with no real road map for how these changes will improve the lives of the average Nigerian.

This is why it is a little disheartening that the bill has even been allowed to pass a second reading on the floor of the Nigerian senate. But thankfully, later than never, the Nigerian Senate is finally waking up and taking action. A major reason why they are rejecting the bill now is that the details of the proposed bill were not attached to the copies of the debate, which contravenes legislative practice. Even when senators brought this to the attention of the Senate president, they were ignored and the debate was pushed forward. This suggested complicity on the pat of Senate President Ahmed Lawan, who already is considered a Buhari plant by opposition party members.

Senators Yaroe Binus (Adamawa South) and Betty Apiafi (Rivers West) are leading the charge to reject the bill, and have been since Lawan contravened legislative practice in his bid to push the bill forward.

 

 

“I can’t even call what the Senate Leader read a lead debate, because it  (lead debate) usually contains the details of what we want to talk about.

“The Finance Bill contains amendment to Personal Income Tax,  Company Income tax,  Value Added Tax, Customs and Excise tariffs, Capital Gain Tax, and  the  Petroleum Profit Tax.

“Some people don’t understand why we are opposing the bill. Some of our colleagues just want us to  do something that will excite the executive but they will understand one day.

“In trying to raise tax, we should not use it to discourage medium and small enterprises and even the multinational investors. In one breath, we are encouraging young Nigerians to start SMEs, in another breath,  we are discouraging them with taxes.

“I can’t even call what the Senate Leader read a lead debate, because it  (lead debate) usually contains the details of what we want to talk about.

“The Finance Bill contains amendment to Personal Income Tax,  Company Income tax,  Value Added Tax, Customs and Excise tariffs, Capital Gain Tax, and  the  Petroleum Profit Tax.

“Some people don’t understand why we are opposing the bill. Some of our colleagues just want us to  do something that will excite the executive but they will understand one day.

“In trying to raise tax, we should not use it to discourage medium and small enterprises and even the multinational investors. In one breath, we are encouraging young Nigerians to start SMEs, in another breath,  we are discouraging them with taxes.

We will be watching to see how this whole saga plays out, and we hope that in the end, the interest of the Nigerian people are duly represented. It is not too much to ask for.

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