The Federal Government of Nigeria has hinted that Nigerians will have to pay more for certain goods and services via Valued Added Tax (VAT).
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, revealed a new initiative charted out by government to grow revenue. The initiative was tagged Strategic Revenue Growth Initiatives (SRGI) and it is for sustainable revenue generation in all sectors of the economy.
According to Mrs Ahmed, one of the ways to generate more revenue will be to raise the Value Added Tax (VAT) from its present level, 5 percent, this year.
Though she did not give details of what the new VAT would be, the Minister said before it becomes effective, an approval will have to be received from the National Assembly, which has representatives of the citizens.
However, she said some items may not be affected by the proposed VAT raising.
“We are studying a possibility of a VAT increase but you also know that the increase of VAT requires an amendment of a law.
“It is most likely the VAT increase will be selective. It will be on special items so it won’t be across the board.
“I am sure you are already aware that there are a number of items that are exempted from VAT such as food and drugs.
“There would be a VAT increase during the course of 2019, (but) we will announce later the items and what the rate will be.
“We will have to take a request to the National Assembly for amendment of the VAT law before it takes effect,” Mrs Ahmed said.
The Minister explained that the new revenue initiative of government will be “implemented in the areas of achieving sustainability revenue generation to optimally collect revenues to maintain fiscal buoyancy and resilience.”
According to her, “We will also be looking at new revenue streams and enhanced enforcement with regards to revenue collection on our existing revenue streams.”
She said, “Through the initiative, we hope to achieve cohesion between revenue generating entities and equipping them with cutting-edge tools and expertise needed to support high performance.”
Already, the news of the proposed increase in VAT by government has been greeted with mixed reactions from citizens, who do not know what the new VAT would be.
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