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Government urged to plug leakages instead of increasing VAT

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Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEUMOG) has called on the Federal Government to jettison its plans of increasing the Value Added Tax (VAT) but to block financial leakages, illicit flows and capital flights in all sectors of the economy.

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This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the group’s two-day workshop in Akwa Ibom State.

The communiqué was signed by the Chief Executive Officer, Dr. George-Hill Anthony; Olakunle Oyegoke of Ondo State Tax Justice and Governance Platform; Ugochi Ehiahuruke of Anambra State Tax Justice Platform; Ogunjobi Olalekan of Ogun State Tax Justice Platform; Stiv Obodoekwe of Port Harcourt Shadow Budget Group and Mfon Esua of Uyo Shadow Budget Group.

“Federal Government should step up effective security apparatuses, which will provide enabling environment for a thriving economy. Rather than an increase in VAT, the government should block leakages, illicit financial flows, capital flight in all sectors by stimulating citizens-ownership of the anti-corruption crusade,” the statement read in part.

The workshop, which drew over 90 participants on the fiscal concern, especially budget and taxation, across the country, was sponsored by NDEBUMOG with support from Oxfam Nigeria.

It called on various state governments to domesticate and simplify Nigeria’s tax laws, encourage implementation through service delivery and make public, such tax laws and policies to help fair tax education.

The participants urged states to launch and support Open Governance Partnership (OGP), as such would fast-track development, through participatory democratic accountability.

“All government transactions in Nigeria should follow due process, accountability, transparency, and value for money,” it added.

The communiqué called on civil society organisations to build their capacities on International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) for a better understanding of the budget processes and real-time monitoring and evaluation service delivery indicators.

Stakeholders at the event raised concerns about the neglect of education by all tiers of government, which has brought an additional burden on the people, as parents are forced to send their wards to private schools at exorbitant costs.


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