In Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari on the 13th January 2020 signed the Finance Bill 2019 which includes the review of the Valued Added Tax (VAT) rate to 7.5 percent. This created significant concerns for many Nigerians who believe this review will increase the cost of basic goods and services, even though the government believes this will promote fiscal equity and support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES).
However, the Federal government listed 20 basic food items exempted from the new Valued Added Tax (VAT) increase and, yes, sanitary pads were exempted from this list.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande, he said “In a bid to ensure that the cost of living does not rise for Nigerians because of the changes in the Value-Added Tax, several basic food items, locally manufactured sanitary towels, pads and tuition relating to nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary education have been added to the exemption list of goods and services on the VAT under the Finance Bill 2019”.
So, it’s official, our sisters in Nigeria do not have to add the stress of sanitary pad price hikes to their already stressful period cycles. This is a commendable consideration by the Nigerian Federal government –an evidence of the importance of having women sit at the table where policies are shaped and decisions are made. Someone needs to look out for the lives of women and girls. We are positive this consideration was influenced by the women in Nigeria’s legislature. This consideration goes a long way in catering to the under privileged women and girls who cannot afford to buy sanitary pads even at the existing rates.
Nigeria’s increased new VAT rate of 7.5 percent is still the lowest in Africa, and one of the lowest anywhere in the world. (South Africa VAT: 15 percent; Ghana: 12.5 percent; Kenya: 16 percent; Egypt: 14 percent; Rwanda: 18 percent and Senegal: 18 percent.)
Tell a sister to tell a sister… she does not have to pay more for her sanitary pads in February after the VAT rate increase takes effect in Nigeria.
News Source: Vanguard