It is no longer news that the Rivers state government has been embroiled in a battle with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) over the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT).
FIRS has taken up the responsibility of collecting VAT over the years, however, the Rivers state government led by Nyesom Wike challenged the practice and won at the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt.
The Federal High Court had in its judgment ruled against the FIRS in the tax collection tussle and ordered that Rivers state was the rightful collector of the tax.
Now states in the northern region are set to join FIRS in its appeal against the judgment of the court that empowered Rivers state.
Northern states join VAT battle
Legit.ng in this piece lists states that have expressed their readiness to be joined in the suit to form a coalition with FIRS, according to The Guardian.
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Ganduje sends message to southern, northern governors
Earlier, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano state called on his colleagues across the country to work in harmony.
He urged the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) to avoid unnecessary tussles as they serve the purpose they are elected.
The Kano governor gave this charge while speaking at Sani Abacha Stadium, Kano, during an occasion to commemorate Nigeria's 61st Independence anniversary.
Lagos govt joins forces with Rivers in VAT battle against FIRS
Meanwhile, the Lagos state government on Friday, September 10, applied to the Court of Appeal in Abuja to be joined as a co-respondent in the appeal filed by FIRS against Rivers state.
The FIRS is challenging the judgment of the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, which held that Rivers state has the power to collect VAT within its domain.
The Attorney General of Lagos, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), informed the court of the state's interest to be joined as a party in the appeal.
Collection of VAT by FIRS remains
In a related development, the federal government said FIRS will continue to collect VAT following the ruling of the Court of Appeal on the matter.
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, made the comment while speaking to journalists in New York on the disagreement over the collection of VAT between FIRS and Rivers state government.