The Federal Government (FG) under the leadership of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has granted significant concessions in the wake of economic challenges.
Among the most notable is the temporary suspension of the 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) on Automotive Gas Oil, commonly referred to as diesel.
Diesel VAT Waiver: In response to the soaring prices of diesel, which surged from 600 Naira per litre in early June to a staggering 1000 Naira per litre, the FG has announced a 6-month waiver on the VAT for diesel. This move is anticipated to alleviate the burden on consumers and industries alike.
Government-Labour Meeting: The concessions followed a critical dialogue between the Federal Government and representatives from organized labour. This emergency meeting was crucial in averting the labour’s planned indefinite strike scheduled for October 3.
Alternative Energy: Apart from the VAT changes, the government wants to use different energy sources. They’re quickly bringing in buses that use Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). This helps with the issues caused by removing the PMS subsidy and makes public transport better.
Support for Small Businesses: The government knows that starting businesses matter a lot. So, they’ve promised to put more money into very small and small businesses.
During the official press release, Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, itemized the agreements made during the government-labour meeting. Among the most significant resolutions:
- A provisional wage increment of N25,000 for treasury-paid federal government workers over the next half-year.
- The imminent introduction of CNG buses to counterbalance the challenges linked to the PMS subsidy removal.
- A generous financial commitment to bolster micro and small-scale enterprises.
- A temporary relief from VAT on diesel.
- The initiation of a payout program, wherein 15 million households will receive N25,000 monthly from October to December 2023, amounting to a total of N75,000 per household.
Moreover, the labour unions, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Unions Congress (TUC), have agreed to reconsider their stance on the strike, pending further consultations on these resolutions’ implementation.
Participants and Stakeholders:
The significant meeting saw virtual participations from Governor Abdulrazak Abdulrahman of Kwara State, Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), and Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, chaired the event.
Additionally, key ministers and high-ranking officials were present, providing comprehensive coverage on the economic, labour, and infrastructural facets of the deliberations.