PDP stalwart, Dr Nnamdi Onochie, has advised the Federal Government to reverse the Value Added Tax (VAT) from the current 7.5 per cent to five per cent, due to current inflation trends in the country.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday, Onochie contended that retaining VAT at 7.5 per cent would do more harm than good to the populace in view of current economic hardships.
He argued that it had become necessary for government to carry out measures to lift the human condition of the populace, amid rising unemployment, especially among the younger segment of the population.
Onochie observed that seeking foreign loans from time to time might not be the way out for the country, saying macro-economic measures should be adopted to pull Nigeria out of the woods rather than resorting to loans.
“The present administration has largely been borrowing foreign loans and introducing harsh tax methods that have impacted negatively on the populace.
“I submit that this is not the way to go and I’m hopeful that the people will see the difference in 2023, if I become part of the new regime that will bring change,’’ he said.
Onochie, who was a former Commissioner for Special Duties in Delta, recommended what he described as an open governance that would tackle corruption decisively.
He said that technology was the best tool to fight corruption, to ensure that graft was tackled even before it would take place.
The former Nigerian envoy to Algeria and the Philippines, stated that any administration keen on fighting corruption should deploy soft wares at all levels of governance to prevent contract over-invoicing and other fraudulent transactions.
“If elected president, I will fully deploy soft wares and state-of-the art technology that will centralise and manage all government procurement, purchases and contract businesses,’’ he said.
According to him, centralising government procurements will detect insertions of fraud, flag and deter continuation or conclusion of processes, including financial wastes and profligacy.
He lamented the persistent rating of Nigeria as a nation with high corrupt index by international agencies, including Transparency International.
Onochie challenged the ruling APC to make visible impact on the war against corruption since the regime came to power six years ago.
“The most impactful approach to fighting corruption is to prevent it before it happens thereby eliminating corruption to zero level,’’ he said.
Onochie, however, appealed to Nigerians to support government in the bid to make thd country to rank high in the comity of nations.