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More Woes To FIRS As Southern Governors Back Collection of VAT By States

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The Southern Governors Forum has expressed support for the collection of the Value Added Tax by state governments, Punch reports.

The Governors made their positions known on Thursday, 16 September, during their meeting in Enugu.

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu announced this while reading a communique at the end of the meeting.

Rivers and Lagos state governments had recently called for the decentralization of VAT collection and also enacted laws to give it legal backing, but the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) rejected the move and also threatened to deal with businesses that pay their VAT to state governments.

Akeredolu maintained that the governors affirmed that the collection of VAT fell within the powers of state governments.

He said: We resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state.

“The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitments to fiscal federalism and emphasized the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.

“The meeting resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the states. It also expresses satisfaction with the handling of issues around the Petroleum Industry Act and ownership of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation by the larger Nigerian Governors’ Forum.”

The Forum also reiterated their earlier position that the next President of Nigeria must come from the southern part of Nigeria, in line with the politics of equity, justice, and fairness.

The Governors present at the meeting were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State; Nyesom Wike of Rivers State; Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State; Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State; and Doye Diri of Bayelsa state.

Others were the Governors of Ogun state, Dapo Abiodun, and Akwa Ibom, Emmanuel Udom.

The Deputy Governors who attended the meeting include Prof Evara Esu (Cross River); Udo Okochukwu(Abia); Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti); Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi); Rauf Olaniyan(Oyo); Philip Shuaibu (Edo) and Prof. Placid Njoku(Imo).

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