The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the decision of the federal government to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) from five percent to 7.2 percent.
In a statement Thursday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said Nigerians cannot bear the burden of the increase, given the prevailing agonizing economic situation.
Describing the move as anti- people and suppressive, the PDP said it further confirmed the government as “extremely exploitative, inconsiderate and absolutely insensitive” to the suffering, which the party said the administration has visited on Nigerians in the last four years.
The main opposition party insisted that the decision to increase VAT on already impoverished citizens was in bad faith and cannot be justified under any guise.
The PDP said: “Indeed, only an administration that does not have the mandate of the people can seek to adopt such oppressive stance against its citizens.
“President Buhari ought to be aware that an increase in VAT will worsen our decrepit economy and put more pressure on families and business as it will result in increase in costs of goods and services that have direct bearing on the welfare of the people.
“Our party charges the Buhari Presidency not to further punish Nigerians by imposing harsh tax regime to make up for its crass incompetence and lack of capacity to effectively harness and manage our resources to create wealth for the benefit of the people.
“It is even more painful that the Buhari Presidency cannot give account of the huge resources at its disposal, including the taxes it has been collecting in the last four years, most of which are frittered to service the wasteful lifestyle of the cabal at the Presidency and APC chieftains.
“Instead of foisting more tax burden on Nigerians, the PDP charges 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”.
The party added that it’s disheartening that at the time Nigerians ought to be enjoying the “economic recovery and empowerment blueprint” set out by Atiku Abubakar, which included slash in taxes and levies, the citizens are rather faced with an unjustifiable and indefensible tax increase.
It urged the National Assembly to protect Nigerians and save the nation from collapse by rejecting “this injurious decision” by taken by the government.