The main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has kicked against the decision of the federal government to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) from its current 5% to 7.2%.
The party in a statement issued on Thursday by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan described the hike as anti-people and suppressive. The party called on the National Assembly to reject the hike.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns and totally rejects the decision by President Muhammadu Buhari and his officials to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5% to excruciating 7.2%, saying Nigerians cannot bear such burden under the prevailing agonizing economic situation.
“The party says the decision is anti-people, suppressive and further confirmed the Buhari Presidency as extremely exploitative, inconsiderate and absolutely insensitive to the sufferings which it has plunged Nigerians into in the last four years.
“The PDP insists that the decision to increase VAT on already impoverished citizens is in bad faith and cannot be justified under any guise.
“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 direct bearing on the welfare of the people.
“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.
“It is even more painful that the Buhari Presidency cannot give 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.
“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.
“It is disheartening that at the time Nigerians ought to be enjoying the economic recovery and empowerment blueprint set out by Atiku Abubakar, which included slash in taxes and levies, they are rather faced with an unjustifiable and indefensible tax increase.
“The PDP therefore urges the National Assembly to protect Nigerians and save our nation from collapse by rejecting this injurious decision by the Buhari Presidency.”