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ECOWAS counsels Nigeria to raise VAT on hotels, others

The Economic Community of West Africa States has canvassed an increase in the Value Added Tax on luxury items including perfume, wine and other alcoholic beverages, fuelling speculations about inflation on the items.

According to ECOWAS, Nigeria remains the least VAT paying country in West Africa.

The ECOWAS Director of Domestic Tax, Tiemtore Salifou, made the submission on the sideline of a two-day regional seminar on problems of tax transition in West Africa which ended in Abuja on Friday.

He however suggested that the increase should be on products that would not impact negatively on poorer Nigerians.

While emphasising that there was no economic wisdom in Nigeria paying less VAT than Niger Republic, Salifou suggested VAT increase on items like hospitality industry, expensive perfumes and wines among other imported products.

He said, “There are some products we can increase VAT on without impacting on the lives of the normal Nigerians.

“I am talking about the hotels, perfumes, wines and certain products for the rich. I don’t think it will have any impact on the common people if government increases tax on them.”

He added that Nigeria should not put VAT on certain products that were very important to the common citizens

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