Why CBN approved new bank charges, proposed VAT increase – Emefiele

Godwin Emefiele

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the plan to increase Value Added Tax (VAT) from five per cent to 7.5 per cent is in the right direction to raise country’s revenue.

Emefiele stated this while fielding questions from journalists after the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held in Abuja.

NAN quoted him to have said that the government had responsibility to fend for every citizenry by providing basic infrastructure like roads, electricity and hospitals among others.

He explained that the government had only two ways to fund such projects, which are by raising revenue and through loan collection.

According to him, the present government has been criticised by some people for high rate of debt incurred.

“Government unfortunately has no option, if it does not borrow, it must raise revenue and you all agree with me that it has obligations to meet up with.

”The increase of VAT to 7.5 per cent is low compare to other countries, in fact, with this increase, Nigeria has the lowest in the world.

“If the government can meet its obligation through this increment, it should be supported,” he said.

Also, highlighting the benefits of the cashless policy, Mr Emefiele said small and medium enterprise (SMEs) have embraced the various options and channels available to them for collecting legitimate payment for goods and services.

He said the cashless policy is in the public interest to promote an efficient payment system which helps to reduce the punitive cost of cash processing often passed on to bank customers by Deposit Money Banks.

“Cashless policy improves transparency in financial dealings and reduction in crimes, such as advanced fee fraud, graft ransom payments and extortion. That’s why we think Nigerians should proceed in the direction of cashless economy,” Mr Emefiele said.

He appealed to Nigerians to show understanding and support government’s policies.

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