Governors of South-South states, on Monday, in unison resolved to join a suit before the Appeal Court challenging the right of the Federal Inland Revenue Service to collect Value-Added Tax (VAT).
Rivers State had fired the first salvo as it challenged FIRS and has the judgment of a Federal Court that endorsed its right over VAT in its state. But FIRS has since appealed the judgement.
Also, Lagos, Oyo have also joined the case as more states race to file application in support of the existing ruling.
The South-South governors made their intention known in a six-point communique read to newsmen by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta at the end of the Governors Forum in Port Harcourt.
The governors declared that they unequivocally support the collection of VAT by state governments in the country.
“The Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta (BRACED) Council after an extensive deliberation, resolved unequivocally to support the decision for states to collect VAT and resolved to join the suit before the Supreme Court.”
“This is predicated on the fact that most of the BRACED commission states have already established their state security outfits,” the communique stated.
The BRACED council called on the president and the Federal Government to uphold the tenets of the law establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by appropriately constituting its board.
Furthermore, the Council expressed the hope that the Federal Government would make the forensic audit report on the NDDC public and be courageous enough to deal justly and fairly with the report to strengthen the capacity of the organisation.