The Kogi state government has said it will not support Lagos and Rivers states’ governments in the move to make the collection of value-added tax (VAT) exclusive for states.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State on Thursday signed into law the bill on Value-Added Tax (VAT) collection in the state.
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.
Wike signed the bill which was recently passed by the state House of Assembly at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
He said the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had sufficiently addressed the illegality perpetrated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
On Thursday, Lagos State House of Assembly also passed the bill after a unanimous vote by the lawmakers, and a copy has been sent to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos governor, for his assent.
The development has generated mixed reactions across the country.
Speaking on a programme on Arise TV on Friday, Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi State Commissioner for Information and Communication, said though it has advantages, the state was against the move.
He said, “We are not created equally, and God that created us did not give us equal potential, and we have to support one another.”
According to him, the call “shows that some of our leaders are insensitive, self-centred and trying to make policies that will further divide the country.
“Kogi is bordered by about 10 states of the federation and a gateway to the north, south, to everywhere. And you know that thousands of vehicles transverse the state on a daily basis. It’s the mineral capital of Nigeria. When you look at our advantages, we should even be at the forefront of fighting for VAT to be completely retained in the state.
“But I think we should take it beyond this when you look at the development of the south-west in those days — the cocoa house — and the groundnut pyramids in the north, the whole of Nigeria is reaping the benefit till today. And what we need to do at this material time as leaders is to stop thinking about ourselves alone.
“The position of Governor Yahaya Bello on this is very clear: we will not jump on that bandwagon to call for the retention of VAT completely in the state. We are not created equally, and God that created us did not give us equal potential, and we have to support one another.”
Saharareporters, New York