THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday told President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government to rescind its decision on the approved Value Added Tax (VAT) increase which it said would kill the already worsened nation’s economy.
Describing the decision as oppressive, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP National Publicity Secretary in a statement said his party frowned at the new tax policy, even as he appealed to the National Assembly (NASS) to intervene in the development.
Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning had on Wednesday, after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held in Abuja, announced the increase of VAT increase from 5 to 7.2 per cent.
But the opposition party noted that “indeed, only an administration that does not have the mandate of the people can seek to adopt such oppressive stance against its citizens.
“President Buhari ought to be aware that an increase in VAT will worsen our decrepit economy and put more pressure on families and business as it will result in increase in costs of goods and services that have a direct bearing on the welfare of the people,” Ologbondiyan said.
“Our party charges the Buhari Presidency not to further punish Nigerians by imposing harsh tax regime to make up for its crass incompetence and lack of capacity to effectively harness and manage our resources to create wealth for the benefit of the people.”
He said the party rejected the tax increase stressing that the current administration should rather harness all available resources, as Nigerians would find it difficult to bear the economic burden of the increase.
“It is more painful that the Buhari Presidency cannot give an account of the huge resources at its disposal, including the taxes it has been collecting in the last four years, most of which are frittered to service the wasteful lifestyle of the cabal at the Presidency and APC chieftains,” the PDP spokesperson said.
“Instead of foisting more tax burden on Nigerians, the PDP charges President Buhari to account for and recover the over N14 trillion oil money established to have been stolen under his watch in the last four years”.
Nigerians should be enjoying economic development blueprint designed by Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and presidential candidate in the 2019 election, the PDP said.
Meanwhile, a coalition of civil society organisations had earlier condemned the VAT increase, challenging the Federal Government to focus on illicit financial flows out of the country and how multinationals evade taxes.