Lagos, Akwa Ibom and Adamawa have joined the Rivers State Government to stop the Federal Government from collecting Value Added Tax, VAT.
According to the Director-General, Media and Communications, Adamawa State Government, Solomon Kumangar, the collection of VAT by the states will reduce the dependency of a lot of states on federal allocation.
The Akwa Ibom House of Assembly, on its part, said it would soon begin work on a bill that would enable the state to collect VAT.
The Chairman, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly Committee on Information, Aniefiok Akpan, in a recent interview, said that the VAT bill will soon be introduced on the floor of the House
“We will start working on the bill. I don’t know whether it is going to be an executive bill or the House will initiate it. A member has indicated an interest in bringing the bill,” Akpan said.
Meanwhile, in Lagos, the VAT bill passed the second reading in the state House of Assembly on Monday and asked the Committee on Finance to report back on Thursday.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, in an interview, said the court had already dismissed the stay of execution application filed by the FIRS.
“The court said granting the FIRS prayer is like murder; they (FIRS) went to court to say that the court should stay the execution, while they appeal the judgment. The court’s position is that an appeal is not a stay of execution.
“I think Lagos has not got its fair share of VAT. The state has always been at the forefront of the battle for true federalism. I think the verdict of the court, coming at this time, will strengthen the position of the Lagos State Government that Nigeria truly deserves true federalism as one of the pillars of our democracy. This is a consumption tax, there is no point staying action on it.” He said.
The Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt in its judgment last month in a suit marked FHC/PH/CS/149/2020 said that the Rivers State Government had the powers to collect VAT within its territory.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service, in response, prayed the court to stay execution on the judgment.
But the request was rejected by the presiding judge, Justice Stephen Pam, who said that granting it would negate the principle of equity.