The joint suit by Lagos and Rivers States to challenge the collection of Value Added Tax by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has resulted in criticism by their Kogi counterpart.
During a live interview on Friday on Arise TV, the Kogi State Commissioner of Information, Kingsley Fanwo, said Lagos and Rivers were being selfish and that “we have to support one another”.
Fanwo further clarified that the Kogi State Government will not be joining forces in the VAT suit to ensure the unilateral collection of accruable taxes by states.
“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 potentials, and we have to support one another,” he said.
“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”, he said.
It was reported that a Federal High Court, in its judgment last month, held that the Rivers State government had the powers to collect VAT within its territory.
This has resulted in a cold war between the Rivers State Government and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which has appealed the judgement at the Court of Appeal.