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Don’t Be Distracted By VAT Debate, PGF DG Tells APC Governors






(AFRICAN EXAMINER) –  Dr Salihu Lukman, Director-General Progressives Governors Forum (PGF),  has advised APC governors not to allow themselves to be distracted from  providing progressive leadership to develop the country’s productive potentials.

He gave the advice in a statement  in Abuja, while reacting to  ongoing debate on whether the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) should remain as the responsibility of the Federal Government or be decentralised.

“The controversy around whether VAT should be centrally collected by the Federal Government or decentralised so that state governments are the ones to collect, beyond anything, is a test about the type of democracy Nigerians wants,” he said.

Lukman wondered if the debate would prioritise the development of the country’s productive capacity or would  simply be about consuming the resources that were currently available.

He said once the priority was about consuming currently available resources, commitment of political leaders to mobilise investment to develop the country’s productive sectors would be weak.

This, he said, was not to dismiss issues of access to existing resources by those who produced them.

According to Lukman, access may not necessarily translate into commitment to utilise the resources in ways that strengthened commitment of political leaders,  to invest in the development of Nigeria’s productive sector.



He said the important challenge therefore, was to ensure that access to resources also came with increased commitment by political leaders toward developing the country’s productive sector.

“That Nigerians are debating whether it is states or Federal Government that should collect VAT,  signify some progress which has to do with the fact that there is an increase in what is being generated from VAT.

“For instance, in 2015, the total amount collected was N759.43 billion, between 2016 to 2020, there was consistent increase in the amount collected respectively to N777.51 billion, N972.35 billion, N1.11 trillion, N1.17 trillion and N1.531 trillion.

“Everything considered, under the APC-led Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari, VAT collection increased from N759.43 billion in 2015 to N1.531 trillion in 2020, an increase of more than 100  per cent,” he said.

He added that while Nigerians could conveniently dismiss the role of the APC-led Federal Government in making it possible for the remarkable improvement in VAT collection in the country, it had become an attractive variable.


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