The Senate on Thursday finally passed the Finance Bill which seeks to amend seven Acts of the National Assembly (NASS) relating to taxes payable in the country that includes Value-Added Tax (VAT) in spite an outcry by the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and key private sector operators in the country.

The bill specifically seeks to increase Value-Added Tax (VAT) from five per cent to 7.5 per cent as part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Finance Bill, 2019, which seeks an amendment of Nigeria’s tax laws.

The passage of the Bill was a sequel to the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Finance.

The PDP had called on the NASS to reject the 7.5 per cent increase of VAT by the federal government, describing it as insensitive and suppressive.

PDP in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, expressed worry that the VAT bill “hurriedly passed through second reading in the Senate even when the details were not made available to lawmakers.”

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, had unanimously kicked against the federal government’s intention to increase VAT.

According to MAN President, Mansur Ahmed, the plan to increase VAT would worsen the current economic hardship Nigerians are experiencing at the moment.

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