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Buhari govt insists on VAT increment, gives reason

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Ms. Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, insisted that Value Added Tax (VAT) should increase. She said this, noting that the country will not be able to achieve 80% of revenue performance in 2019.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that Ahmed, in the public presentation of the 2020 budget proposals, said that in the semester, the real aggregate revenue for 2019 was N2.04 trillion, which represented 58% of the proportional target.

Ahmed said that, oil revenues accounted for N900 billion, Company Income Tax (CIT) N349.11 billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) N81.36 billion and Customs N184.10 billion.

“We are very unlikely to reach N8.33 trillion by the end of 2019 and that is why we have to make special efforts to increase revenue performance.

“It’s clear that we can’t even reach 80%, which is why we need to do several things to ensure revenue performance is improved. Launches didn’t start until the end of July and last week we had scheduled and launches now reach N650 billion.”

According to her, N294.63 billion was released for capital expenditure at the end of September, but the goal is to reach N900 billion by the end of December 2019.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that Ahmed said that out of the total allocation of N8.92 trillion, N3.39 trillion was spent on June 30, against the proportional spending budget of N4.58 trillion, representing 76% of performance.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the 2019 Appropriation Bill was presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 19, 2018, but was signed on May 27, 2019.

The N8.92 trillion budget had a projected revenue of N6.97 trillion, consisting of projected oil revenue of N3.73 trillion, while non-oil revenue was estimated at N1.39 trillion.

Non-oil revenue estimates consisted of CIT N799.52 billion, VAT N229.34 billion, and N302.55 billion customs duties.

Latest Nigeria newspaper report that The 2019 budget was based on oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day at $ 60 per barrel and an exchange rate of N305 per dollar.

On the issue of border closure, she said only the major borders of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and other security officials were closed.

She added that the country had seen the benefits of closure and that, although there were some challenges, the NCS and the border-closing committee were looking to alleviate some of the difficulties.

“It has to be Nigeria first and we have to protect our own industries, because some of our neighbors have blatantly abused commitments with which we have jointly signed, and the President said that is no longer acceptable.

“The closing of the border is not forever, there will be an end date, the federal government is currently in discussion with the governments of our neighboring countries, Niger and Republic of Benin.

“We are negotiating to ensure that the challenges that led to the closing of borders are faced by both sides, but especially that our neighbors are meeting the commitments we have signed several years ago.

“When these discussions are concluded, the borders will be opened again,” she said.

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