- The last is not heard about the tussle for the state collection of VAT in Nigeria.
The River State Government is not giving up yet on its legal tussle for the collection of Value Added Tax, at the state level to ensure that the state generates more financial resources that will hasten the economic growth of the state.
Following this target by the state government, the state Governor, Nyesome Wike recently during the march-past and parade in commemoration of the 62nd independence anniversary of Nigeria in Port Harcourt appealed to the supreme court to expedite the case regarding the collection of value-added tax (VAT).
Governor Wike revealed in a statement that was read by Kelvin Ebiri, his special adviser on media, that it is pertinent that the VAT collection case between his state and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) be quickly handled and ruled in favor of his state.
Although Rivers and Lagos state governments had both passed laws and pushed for decentralization of collection, some states pushed for centralized collection.
However, in September last year, a court of appeal instructed the states to maintain the status quo pending the judgment of an appeal filed by FIRS.
Following the state’s dissatisfaction with the court’s order, the Rivers state government filed the matter before the supreme court. The case is still in court.
VAT In Nigeria: Further Explanation by the Rivers’ State Boss
The Governor pointed out the conscious constitutional distortions, institutional weaknesses, and widespread corruption that Nigeria has experienced since its return to Democracy in 1999.
He explained that the country is not truly enjoying a robust democratic practice, stating that free and fair elections, the rule of law, and social justice are practices that are yet to take root in Nigeria.
He however noted that Nigeria has made some apparent developmental strides and economic progress as Africa’s largest economy.
He said that although the fact that the country is still in one piece despite the recurrent conflicts and crisis of confidence is an achievement worth celebrating, Nigeria deserves more than it has achieved in 62 years.
He lamented the current administration’s inability over the last seven years to keep Nigeria’s economic and social situations from disintegrating despite the country’s large natural and human resources.
He continued that the APC-led government is devoid of measures that could be taken to alleviate the dilemma that Nigerians are currently facing.
He also mentioned that right before the government’s eyes, infrastructure across all sectors, including roads, education, and healthcare has deteriorated and Tertiary education has stayed stagnant for over seven months, with no employment opportunities.
VAT In Nigeria: Going Down Memory Lane
Recall that in August last year, the Rivers State Government had won a lawsuit before a High Court Sitting in Port Harcourt, stating that Rivers State Government (RSG) and not the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) should collect Valued Added Tax (VAT) and Personal Income Tax (PIT) in the state.
The Federal Government has since contested the judgement even after states like Lagos joined the legal battle to win the collection rights. The last remains unheard as the Supreme Court is expected to give the final verdict.
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