Take It Back movement,the group which coordinated the presidential campaign of Omoyele Sowore, publisher of SaharaReporters, says plans by the federal government to increase value added tax (VAT) is cruel.
Babatunde Fowler, chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), had on Tuesday said Nigerians should brace up for a VAT increase, adding that the impending increase was one of the areas being looked at by FIRS to meet its 2019 revenue generation target of N8 trillion.
In a statement on Thursday, the group said it is prepared to join Nigerians in resisting the increase.
“The Buhari regime is one that gives with the right hand and robs with the left,” read the statement signed by Rachel Onamusi-Kpiasi, the group’s spokesperson.
“As soon as the National Assembly passed the hard-won minimum wage increment into law, the incumbent government announced a VAT increase to “fund the new minimum wage” – an amount that is still comparatively a slave wage when compared to other African countries with substantively fewer resources.
“The genius of this new tool of oppression is in its simplicity: a VAT increase will lead to a hike in the price of commodities. This will further push inflation rate to a whole new level, thereby proving the diabolical reasoning of the Buhari regime and completely diminishing the purchasing power of workers. The VAT increase, not the increase in minimum wage, will set the tone of poverty and unforeseen suffering for the next four years.
The group said 2019 elections had been issue-based and the question of minimum wage was going to play a crucial role in whipping up workers’ sentiment, especially at the time Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), brought the matter to the front burner of the campaign.
FIRS, however, had said while Fowler suggested an increase in VAT rate by the end of the year, it was not by 50 percent.