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Odinkalu faults government’s order on private sector not to adjust prices

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Former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Chidi Odinkalu, has blasted the Federal Government for ordering private sector operators not to increase prices of their goods and services, while it increased the Value Added Tax (VAT), pump price of petrol, charges on Point of Sale (PoS) and Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions.

In a veiled reference to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC)’s directive to MultiChoice to revert to its tariffs before June 1, Odinkalu, on Twitter, accused the government of double standard.

“It increased VAT, increased electricity tariff, increased petrol price, charges on PoS, charges on ATM withdrawals, but private operators can’t adjust their prices under the watch of a government that keeps raising charges,” tweeted the former NHRC boss.

MultiChoice had, from June 1, adjusted tariffs on its pay television packages to reflect new VAT of 7.5 per cent from five per cent, which came into effect on February 1, 2020.

The hike in VAT is one of the provisions of the Finance Bill, signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on January 13. On Wednesday, July 1, Acting Director-General of the NBC, Dr. Armstrong Idachaba, had directed MultiChoice to revert to its old rates. He was acting on the instruction given to him by the House of Representatives during a session held to deliberate on pay television subscription models.

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Chidi OdinkaluNHRC
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