Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, had a private meeting with Sen. Ali Ndume, (APC-Borno South).
Ndume, who spoke with State House correspondents after the meeting, said he had always paid routine visits to the vice president.
He said that Osinbajo’s humanitarian work in Borno was commendable as many orphans are being assisted.
“I am here to see the vice president and for some of you that have been here for a while, you know that I come from time to time; I have a relationship, very personal with the vice president; just like the president too.
“More especially, I come to brief him from time to time on the humanitarian crisis that we are facing because the vice president is personally passionate about it.
“You know what he did for us; he has an orphanage that is running very effectively in my area; accommodating about 2,000 orphans.
“So, I normally come to discuss with him; he is always very curious about what is going on, so, I came to adequately brief him.’’
On Federal Government’s plans to bring back toll gates on federal highways, Ndume said that the state of Nigeria’s infrastructure was of concern.
He said that there was virtually a collapse in the nation’s infrastructure.
The senator said that if the toll gates would serve the objective of keeping the roads not only motorable but effective and safe; then it was a good one.
“Like the Abuja-Kaduna road for example, where there is toll gate, you will be able to place security there and if you place people there, you have to pay them.
“I am sure every Nigerian travelling, for example, say from Lagos to Ibadan, if you say he is going to pay N100 or N12 to N50 at each point in four places to assure that number one, the road is good; number two, he will be safe.
“He can drive without expecting anybody to come and close the road and kidnap or rob anybody, it makes sense to me but for the toll gate to be placed just for the purpose of it, I don’t think that is what the government wants to do.
“Besides, I heard the minister say that they are bringing private partnership into it; and that is also good.’’
On the Bill for an Act to establish the Communication Service Tax which he sponsored, Ndume said it was a better way of generating revenue without subjecting the poor to hardship.
He said that increasing VAT would have a spiral effect on the populace as it would affect the poor more.
According to him, the effect will be on everybody and even commodity transportation from one point to another which always affect the poor.
“So, that is why I am saying that we should introduce Communications Service Tax and people will pay for it sometimes even not knowing.
“And government will be able to generate more from that angle; you know the money the service providers are making out of communications.
“So, this is my position and I think this Communications Service Tax is part of it; tax those that can afford telephone, 60 million of them; why do you tax 200 million people?
“Tax the 60 million people that can afford it and you get what you want,’’ he said.
Ndume said he was also working on Property Tax Bill and Unexplained Wealth Order (UWO) which would make people pay taxes on their property and explain the means of their wealth. (NAN)