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Nigeria implements new VAT rate in February

Nigeria’s finance minister Zainab Ahmed says the implementation of Value Added Tax (VAT) increase from five per cent to 7.5 per cent will take effect from Feb. 1.

Ahmed said this during the inauguration of the Chairman and Board members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Abuja on Thursday.

“We planned that going forward, the annual budget will always be accompanied by Finance Bills to enable the realisation of revenue projections.

“Future Finance Bills will therefore, provide us with additional opportunities to incrementally improve the fiscal policy and regulatory and legal environment.

“This is in order to further strengthen our domestic capital market, and ultimately ensure sustained and inclusive growth and development,” she said.

The minister recalled that the Finance Act had also taken care of essential palliatives to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and mitigate the impact of VAT rate increase on the most vulnerable businesses, communities and citizens in the economy.

While inaugurating the board, the minister urged the new board to ensure steadfastness of the service in meeting non-oil revenue targets to accelerate the nation’s development.

Ahmed said the board was saddled with various responsibilities, including the supervision of the FIRS.

In his remarks, the FIRS Executive Chairman, Mr Muhammad Nami, said the new board had dedicated itself to the task at hand as the nation was looking up to the service, to provide a leeway out of the present economic crunch.

“As a tax administrator and custodian of the Nigerian tax system, we have the responsibility to the nation to implement all tax policies and laws in a manner that would ensure optimal benefits to the nation.”

Nami said FIRS had a duty to strengthen, withstand and overcome the challenges that was ahead of it.

He pledged to rebuild FIRS institutional framework, robust collaboration with stakeholders, build a customer taxpayer centric institution and data centric institution.

He also said the board intended to achieve this through building staff capacity for service delivery and close all lien cases in order to build new enforcement strategies.

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