Nigeria has the lowest tax rate in the world ― Minister
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba has declared that the recent decision by federal government to increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5% to 7.5% was in the best interest of Nigerians saying that even with the 2.5% increment that Nigeria still has the lowest tax rate in the world.
He said the increment will cater for the development of needed infrastructure and other social amenities in a dire state across the country even as he urged Nigerians to urgently embrace agriculture so as to help the country attain self-sufficiency in food production in order to save it foreign revenue.
Agba while emphasizing that the Muhammadu Buhari administration will not willfully put in place policies that will emasculate the citizens economically, explained that the proposed new tax system “does not affect the common man because all the staple food, medication, education that has to do with the common man are VAT exempt.”
The Minister, who spoke at the 2019 Etsako Day celebration in Lagos at the weekend on the theme “ Showcasing the Cultural Heritage and Investment Opportunities of Etsako”, advised Nigerians to begin to identify natural resources located in their geographical areas and draw attention to them in order to attract investment into those areas.
His words: “Nigerians are not complaining about the recent decision to increase VAT and government is merely increasing VAT by 2 and a half per cent to make it 7.5 per cent and if you don’t know Nigeria has the lowest VAT rate in the world, even in our West Africa coast, a lot of people talk about Ghana, that it has reduced their VAT recently and why are we increasing? Ghana has only reduced its tax from 15 to 12 while we are going from 5 to 7.5%.
“I am a farmer myself but people still see agriculture as a thing that is local, that it is for local people but l tells you it is not. If we are self-sufficient in agriculture then we will be able to feed ourselves, that is where it all begins and if we can’t feed ourselves, then we will have problem with our foreign exchange that we keep talking about, we will start to use what we have earned from other sources to bring in food which is not good.
“if you go to the market and buy yam, potatoes, vegetable and others, you will not pay VAT but if you choose to go to Eko hotel and eat, you pay VAT because you can afford it,” he added.