7.5 % VAT: Apostle Johnson Suleman Slams Buhari Government
President Muhammdu Buhari/File Photo

Apostle Johnson Suleman has slammed the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for proposing to hike Value Added Tax (VAT) to 7.5 %, Concise News reports.

This news medium learned that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed had over the weekend said that the VAT increase, if correctly implemented, could bring in massive revenues, to help reduce the fiscal deficit burden.

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“The Committee, inaugurated on the 9th of January 2019, was to advise on the implementation of the new minimum wage,” the minister said in a statement, weekend.

“It submitted its report on 21st March 2019 in which one key recommendations to government was the VAT increase from 5% to 7.5%.”

According to her, “The benefit of an increase in VAT is therefore more beneficial to state governments and Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country, many of which are already facing difficult conditions.

“The proposed increase in VAT is therefore expected to create additional fiscal space.”

Clergyman Opposes Move

But Apostle Suleman who is the Founder of the Omega Fire Ministries (OFM) has condemned the proposed hike in VAT.

In a series of tweets on his official handle, the tough-talking clergyman said the move will “kill” young businesses.

He claimed that taxes in Nigeria are not used for the development of the country unlike what is obtainable abroad.

“I really wish this whole tax system in Nigeria can be reviewed,” he said.

“Abroad if you have a company with huge staff strength,you have tax leverage but here it’s seen as avenue for astronomical tax rise and you want graduates to be employed? Who is not thinking?

“I have always said it, in saner climes, the private sector controls d system. But in Nigeria, we have more civil servants now…businesses are closing up… huge tax.”

Furthermore, he said “Even BVN requested to access account inflow…job creation won’t be possible until proper tax review is enforced.

“We hardly see sustainable SME these days because of mad and irritating corporate tax impositions..companies are folding up.

“It’s like tax offices are now given targets like banks..so they slash random bills and try to justify it.

“See the massive gap between the rich and the poor and no effort to bridge the gap…abroad, tax deduction is systematic…people pay excitingly and also they see the effects of their taxes…what do we even do with tax payers money here?

“I feel bad for young businesses. You are just 1 year in business and already given humongous bills as tax.

“It’s like disappearing even before you appear…we need jobs in Nigeria…crime reduction is on the premise of job creation…but with this lacuna, jobs are a mirage.”