Senate Moves To Approve VAT Increase
A bill seeking among other things to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) in Nigeria from the current 5% to 7.5% scaled second reading at the Senate on Wednesday.
The bill was sent to the legislators by the executive arm of government and it seeks to make changes in the Nigerian tax and fiscal law.
It will be recalled that Naija News earlier reported the federal government said the VAT increase was important now, with the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosing the increase was necessitated to assist the states in revenue generation for salary payment.
Leading the debate on the bill on Wednesday, the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, said the bill sought to promote fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; reforming domestic laws to align with global best practices, and introducing tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets.
Some Senators (Senators Yaroe Binus – Adamawa South and Betty Apiafi – Rivers West) however raised an observation during the debate on the bill noting they don’t have details of the bill, which may, therefore, make it difficult for them to make informed contributions.
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, however, ruled the protesting senators out of order, insisting that the bill be discussed without the details made available to senators.
Lawan disclosed that the details of the bill would only be made available at the committee level.
Lawan said, “To handle that, we have already asked that our secretariat distributes all the Acts that we want to amend and I want to urge the committee to work very assiduously.
“This should not be compromised at all. Our colleagues who raised the issue did so because they wanted to contribute.
“I think what we have done is still within our tradition and our convention of debating the general principles.
“The issue of revenue in Nigeria today is the major issue affecting our economy.
“The economy of this country like most developing economies depends on public expenditure and until we are able to get it, collate them efficiently and effectively we will not be able to fund public expenditure well.
“This bill will help in generating and collecting this kind of revenue.”