Retrogressive politics of VAT in Nigeria By Salihu Moh. Lukman

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The controversy around whether Value Added Tax should be centrally collected by the Federal Government or decentralised so that state governments are the ones to collect, beyond anything, is a test about the type of democracy Nigerians want. Is it going to prioritise the development of the nation’s productive capacity? Or will it simply be about consuming the resources that are currently available? Once the priority is about consuming currently available resources, commitment of political leaders to mobilise investment to develop the nation’s productive sectors will be weak. This is not to dismiss issues of access to existing resources by those who produce them. However, access may not necessarily translate into commitment to utilise the resources in ways that strengthened commitment of political leaders to invest in the development of Nigeria’s productive sector.

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