Tinubu cautions FG on VAT increase

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The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has advised the federal government to jettison the proposed increase in the Value Added Tax (VAT), stating that the implementation of such proposal will further burdened Nigerians, especially the masses.

Tinubu said this at the 11th Bola Tinubu Colloquium in Abuja on Thursday. He also asked the government to revisit the privatisation of the power sector.

The former governor of Lagos state also warned that Nigeria must begin to look inward and initiate people- friendly policies based on the looming global economic recession.

This, he said, is necessary if Nigeria hopes to fast track industrial development and job creation.

He also demanded an end to estimated billing in the country.

According to him: “I want to appeal to Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Vice President and his team to put a huge question mark on any increase on VAT.

“If you reduce the purchasing power of the people, we can further slowdown the economy.

“Let us widen the tax net. Those who are not paying now, even if they are relatives of Bola Tinubu, let the net be bigger and we take in more taxes. That is what we must do in the country instead of another layer of taxes for now.”

On needs to industrialise the country, Tinubu said: “We require serious and bold reforms to achieve this. What is happening to our gas pipelines?

“Whatever we have to invest now for our future is a task that must be done boldly.

 “The PDP administration shared out generation, distribution and transmission to their friends and cronies without very deep and thoughtful research and evaluation.

“It has now become pork chops. This privatisation must be revisited. Put experts together for a more constructive reform to improve generation, transmission and distribution by any means necessary. We cannot afford to be too legalistic about this.”

He went on: “We should push to end the practice of billing people for electricity they never received.

“This practice is a vestige of the past that should not accompany us into the future. A person should be charged accurately and only for the power that they use.

“Government should continue to aggressively implement its national infrastructure plan.

“We must commit ourselves to a national highway system linking our major cities and towns, our centres of commerce with each other. This will save lives, spur commerce, cut costs and bring Nigerians closer together.”

The co-Chairman of the APC Presidential Campaign Council stressed the next level slogan of the party during its campaign was not just a jargon that should be discarded after victory has been won.

He said: “The Next Level is not just a trendy campaign phrase to be quickly discarded once victory has been achieved.

“It has a much deeper and more profound meaning, perhaps even more than its authors contemplated.

“This is because we are a nation still in the process of defining itself politically and economically.

“In this process, it is tempting and easy to borrow indiscriminately from those nations that seem to have mastered the art of democratic governance and to have achieved economic prosperity.

“However, to achieve durable progress, we can’t afford to work hard but in mindless devotion to the ways of other nations.

“This truth is particularly acute when these very nations now face fundamental political and economic questions that cast doubt on the social utility and viability of the economic model under which they have travelled for the past 50 years.”

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