Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Senate to assert its independence and refuse to allow the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive to railroad it into passing the anti-people Value Added Tax (VAT) increase bill, which has been rejected by Nigerians.
The party in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, expressed concerns that the bill has been hurriedly passed through second reading in the Senate even when the details were not made available to lawmakers.
The PDP noted that the failure to avail the details of the bill to the lawmakers confirms its toxicity to the polity.
The party urged the Senate leadership to bear in mind that Nigerians had rejected the bill, which is designed by the Buhari Presidency to increase VAT from 5% per cent to excruciating 7.5% not minding its attendant adverse economic effect on Nigerians.
According to PDP, “Such planned increase in VAT is insensitive, suppressive and if anything, will further impoverish Nigerians and worsen the prevailing agonising economic situation in the country.
“The National Assembly, as the true representatives of the people at the federal level, should therefore protect Nigerians by ensuring that such an anti-people policy does not receive a final legislative stamp”.
The PDP therefore urged the National Assembly to task the Buhari Presidency to rather end its manifest profligacy and seek ways to galvanize the system for wealth creation instead of this suppressive resort to imposition of taxes on Nigerians.
Accordingly, PDP said, ” the National Assembly should task President Buhari to account for and recover the over N14 trillion oil money established to have been stolen under his watch in the last four years instead of punishing Nigerians with more taxes”.
PDP therefore urged the Senate to resist the pressure from the Buhari Presidency to work against the people and ensure that the bill does not go beyond the second reading stage.