Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) has reacted to the bill
to enact a law to impose a communication service tax meant to replace
the Federal Government’s proposed 2.5 percentage increase in the Value
Added Tax (VAT), describing it as less burdensome on the masses.
The CNPP also threw it’s weight behind a suggestion by former governor
of Imo State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha that Nigeria should adopt a reduced
Parliamentarian represention from each state of the federation as part
of efforts to decrease government’s running costs.
According to the umbrella body of all registered political parties and
political associations in country, in a statement issued on Tuesday by
its Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, the bill tagged
“Communication Service Tax Bill, 2019” being sponsored by former Senate
Leader, Senator Ali Ndume is a lesser evil compared to the impact of a
2.5 percent increase in VAT, which will raise payable VAT to 7.5
“For us, the Bill proposing levy on electronic communication services
like Voice Calls, SMS, MMS, Data usage and Pay per View TV Stations is a
lesser evil. The impact on the ordinary citizens will be less burdensome
than the proposed 7.5 percent VAT the federal government wants to slam
on the already impoverished masses of Nigeria.
“We totally agree with Senator Ndume that the bill would rather enhance
distribution of wealth where ordinary Nigerians would benefit than
impoverish the masses the more as VAT increment will not only affect the
economy negatively but will further reduce the purchasing power of the
poorest of Nigerians”, the CNPP observed.
Reacting to the proposed reduction of the numbers of legislative
representatives from states at the National Assembly, the CNPP noted
that “Senator Okorocha was telling nothing but the truth when he
canvassed that one Senator is enough to represent a state at the
“Like Senator Okorocha, said what is too sacrosanct that Senators and
House of Representatives members were doing that only senator per state
could not do?
“We therefore urge Senator Okorocha to urgently sponsor a Bill for the
amendment of relevant sections of the constitution in line with his
thoughts to conserve funds for capital projects to the benefit of poor
Nigerians”, the CNPP counselled.