Udo Udoma

FG rules out tax increase

The federal government has assured Nigerians that in spite of the current dwindling oil revenue, it will not increase taxes.

This was an outcome of yesterday’s meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Our correspondent reports that this was the first National Economic Council meeting held this year.
Briefing State House correspondents later, Budget and National Planning Minister Udoma Udo Udoma emphasized that the government did not intend to increase either the Value Added Tax (VAT) or the Corporate Tax at the moment as it did not want to  impose additional burden on Nigerians.
According to the minister, the government only desired an increase in taxes collection rate currently standing at about 20 percent.
The minister said the executive would collaborate with the National Assembly to explore other innovative financing methods for the 2016 budget especially by considering private sector funding for some capital projects.
Udoma added that the government was also considering tolls collection as an option for road construction projects.
“With reference to the budget, one thing we are determined not to do is to cut any of those capital projects because we need them to stimulate the economy.
“We are going to work with the National Assembly to see how we can get savings. One of the areas we are looking at is our cash call elements,” he said.
The minister said he told the council that the 2016 budget was geared towards stimulating the economy and promoting inclusive growth for the poor and the vulnerable.
He said the nation’s economy had been affected by the decline in oil prices between June 2014 and December 2015.

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