The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and other private sector operators, have unanimously kicked against the Federal Government’s intention to increase Value Added Tax (VAT) to 7.2% from 5%.
Nairametrics had reported that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, approved the increment of the VAT.
In recently held separate interviews, the private sector stakeholders expressed confidence that the VAT increment will have a negative impact on the real sector and the economy at large.
While enjoining the Federal Government to shelve its plan to increase the VAT, the operators advised the government to include more enterprises in the tax net to widen the tax base instead of increasing the VAT rate.
According to Mansur Ahmed, MAN President, Mansur Ahmed, the plan to increase VAT would worsen the current economic hardship Nigerians are experiencing at the moment.
Ahmed said, “Increasing VAT by nearly 50 per cent would worsen the problem of high cost of doing business in the country. It will also reduce the effective demand of consumers in purchasing goods and services. This will not augur well with manufacturers who already have more unsold items in their warehouses due to low purchasing power of Nigerian consumers.
“Therefore, efforts should be directed at expanding the tax base. This effort has not been exhausted.”
Backing Ahmed’s statement, the Director General of the LCCI, Muda Yusuf, said the VAT hike would threaten the business environment that is already challenging investors.
He said: “And knowing the way VAT is operated in this environment, it will not count whether the product is an input for production or not. Because practically everything is subjected to VAT unlike what happens in other climes where VAT is treated purely as a consumption tax.”
On her part, the National President of NACCIMA, Hajiya Saratu Iya Aliyu, said while the country had not fully recovered from the 2016 economic recession, it makes no economic sense for the Nigerian government to increase VAT.
Aliyu argued that the GDP growth rate per quarter has been 1.74 per cent on average – not exceeding 2.4 per cent at its highest point, since the country regained positive economic growth in the second quarter of 2017.
She added that inflation rate is still high, revolving around 11.3 per cent since May 2018 while unemployment rate as at the third quarter of 2018, stood at 23.1 per cent, with an estimated 20.9 million people unemployed.
NECA Director General, Timothy Olawale, however, said in the event that the Federal Government decided to increase VAT against the will of the people, the increase should be limited to luxury or ostentatious goods only.
#EndSARS: Lagos State needs N1 trillion to rebuild losses – Gbajabiamila
Gbajabiamila has said that the Lagos State Governor told him that the state would need N1 trillion for the reconstruction of destroyed assets.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has disclosed that Lagos State will need about N1 trillion for the reconstruction and repair of the properties and infrastructure that was vandalized and destroyed by hoodlums.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this while responding to questions from State House Correspondents after the assessment visitation of some of the properties that were destroyed during the protest.
What you should know
The #EndSARS protest which started as a peaceful demonstration by thousands of youths, degenerated into chaos after the protests were hijacked by hoodlums. The distasteful actions of hoodlums and arsonists have seen properties worth billions of naira vandalized, destroyed and razed down.
One of the consequences of these events was reported by Nairametrics as the Lagos State Government revealed that 27 of the burnt Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles in the Oyingbo and Ojodu Berger areas of the state cost $200,000 each, while 57 of them cost $100,000 each, which gives a total of N3.9 billion.
What they are saying
According to information gathered by The Punch, the Speaker said, “The House of Representatives will do all it can to compensate all those who suffered brutality, including policemen that lost their lives in the process.
“However, we want to know what exactly happened at the Lekki Toll Gate. The judicial panel must reveal this. However, I want to encourage Nigerians to allow peace to reign.
“I learnt from the governor of Lagos State that it will take N1trn to rebuild what had been lost and asked him what’s the budget size of the state, he said about N1trn. You can see we are moving backwards.
“Hence, we must consider the consequences of our actions before embarking on any venture. I, therefore, appeal to the youth to allow peace to reign henceforth. I still believe in the unity of Nigeria.”
#EndSARS: NBC fines AIT, Channels and Arise TV over use of “unverifiable” footages
The NBC has sanctioned three major Nigerian television stations over their reportage of recent unrest across the country.
The National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, has fined Nigerian media houses including AIT, Channels TV and Arise News, claiming they used unverifiable video footages from social media to cover the #EndSARS protests.
This was disclosed in a report by AIT on Monday afternoon. According to media reports, the regulators imposed various fines on Arise TV, African Independent Television (AIT) and Channels Television between N2million and N3million.
“The National Broadcasting Commission has sanctioned Africa Independent Television, AIT, Arise TV and Channels for what it calls, a gross violation of the broadcast code, top of which is the use of unverifiable online video footages on the social media,” AIT said.
The Acting Director-General of the commission, Armstrong Idachaba, warned that further sanctions will be harsher and announced that the owners of AIT, DAAR Communications would be fined separately for alleged reports of a fire incident at the National Christian Centre.
The sanction according to Idachaba, will be a fine of not less than N2 million.
The NBC had warned last week that broadcasters must “perform the role of a peace agent by adhering to the principle of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality” in reporting the protests.
More details later..
Why Okonjo-Iweala should win the WTO DG role – Prof. Moghalu
Professor Kingsley Moghalu has thrown support behind Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to win the World Trade Organization top job.
A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, has publicly canvassed support for Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala to win the World Trade Organization (WTO) top job.
The former professor of public policy at Fletcher School, Tufts University, made the disclosure via his official Twitter handle, as seen by Nairametrics
Prof. Moghalu made a strong case for why Africa’s candidate should be considered for the top shot, noting that the need for Africa to get a better deal in the world trading system should be a major criterion in selecting the next WTO DG. He also believed that correcting this negatively skewed trade deal will help tackle poverty and underdevelopment in Africa.
The dynamics of world trade are rigged against Africa, keeping the continent poor and undeveloped. In this piece for Project Syndicate @ProSyn I make a strong case for why Africa’s candidate, @NOIweala, should be selected as the next Director-general of @wto https://t.co/G4Fyxd1z91
— Kingsley Moghalu (@MoghaluKingsley) October 26, 2020
What you should know
Nairametrics had earlier reported that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee have emerged as the last two candidates for the top WTO job.
Prof. Moghalu also disclosed that the final selection decision is expected this week or very early next week.
Prof. Moghalu said, “The dynamics of world trade are rigged against Africa, keeping the continent poor and undeveloped. In this piece for Project Syndicate @ProSyn, I make a strong case for why Africa’s candidate, @NOIweala, should be selected as the next Director-General of @wto.
“The final selection decision is expected this week or very early next. Alongside the case for why the African candidate Okonjo-Iweala is best placed to lead WTO, I make the case for the continent more broadly as to how and why it must get a better deal in the world trading system.”
What this means
If finally selected for the top job, the opportunity will present Dr. Okonjo the platform to solve some global trade-related issues, one of which is Africa’s trade position with the rest of the world.