- Governor Nyesom Wike has replied those attacking him for challenging the federal government on VAT collection by state
- According to him, states should be given the autonomy to gather resources and generate funds including VAT to aid their development
- Wike noted that Rivers state government should be encouraged for embracing true federalism rather than be criticised unjustly
Port Harcourt, Rivers - The Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike, has slammed those criticising him for the decision of the state government to challenge the legality of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).
He believes Nigeria must encourage federating states to harness their resources and generate revenues, including VAT to advance their development.
Channels TV reports that Governor Wike made this statement on Monday, September 20, during a courtesy visit by the managing director and editor-in-chief of the SUN (Newspaper) Publishing Limited, Onuoha Ukeh, who led a delegation to present a letter of nomination to him as the SUN Man of the Year 2020 Award at Government House in Port Harcourt.
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“Some people say, be your brother’s keeper; I have no problem in being my brother’s keeper but why not come out and say, let us tell ourselves the simple truth?” he queried. “As it is being provided in the law, who is the person responsible to collect the VAT?
“When you agree to that, that it is the state, then we can sit down to look at the different problems of states. And not to say be your brother’s keeper while you’re doing an illegal thing, in disobeying what the law says you should not do.”
Speaking further, the governor berated one of his colleagues who reportedly threatened that the judgement of the court that allowed states to collect VAT within their jurisdiction would not stand, a report by Today.ng also indicates.
He said rather, such a governor should commend Rivers state government for seeking to entrench fiscal federalism and constitutionalism.
Why you should be your brothers’ keeper, Umahi sends strong message to Southern Governors
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Dave Umahi, the governor of Ebonyi sate, has knocked his colleagues on the platform of the Southern Governors’ Forum over their resolution supporting the collection of the Value Added Tax by states.
The report indicate that Umahi made this disclosure on Friday, September 17, during an interview on Channels TV.
Umahi said that Ebonyi won’t pursue VAT collection or implement the decision the forum made at a meeting in Enugu on Thursday, September 16.
Sanwo-Olu dares FG, signs bill empowering Lagos govt to collect VAT into law
Earlier, in what seems like a never ending battle in recent days between governors and the Federal government, the Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, signed into law a bill empowering the state government to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).
It was reported that the Commissioner of information and strategy in Lagos, Gbenga Omotoso, made this disclosure in a statement on Friday, September 10.
Omotoso stated that the governor signed the bill for a law so as to impose and charge VAT on certain goods and services after returning from an official trip in Abuja, Legit.ng gathered.