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Odinkalu to FG: You can’t ask business owners not to increase prices when you’ve raised VAT

Odinkalu to FG: You can’t ask business owners not to increase prices when you’ve raised VAT
July 02
16:11 2020

Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), says it is wrong for the federal government to direct business operators not to increase prices of goods and services despite an increase in value added tax (VAT).

The 2020 finance act, which was signed into law in January, raised VAT from 5% to 7.5%, to increase the government’s non-oil revenue.

The VAT increase was implemented on February 1.

Multichoice Nigeria had announced that the price adjustments will take effect from June 1.

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It said the increase in VAT would see DSTV premium subscription rate move from N15, 800 to N16,200 while GOtv Max price will rise to N3, 280 from N3,200.

But on Wednesday, Armstrong Idachaba, acting director-general of Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) ordered the management of MultiChoice to suspend the implementation of its new tariffs.

Idachaba made the remark after the house of representatives mandated its committee on implementation of pay as you go tariff (PAYG) plan by broadcast service providers to probe into the issue and report back for further legislative action.

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The lawmakers argued that Nigerians are facing hard times due to the coronavirus pandemic, adding that an increase in prices of goods and services would have more devastating effect.

In a tweet on Thursday, the former NHRC boss accused the federal government of raising charges on a variety of services but issuing orders to private operators to do otherwise.

“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,” the tweet read.

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