· Says: “…Certain states which are so militant on this VAT issue.”
· Says: “…Fiscal federalism itself must be done within the ambits of the law.”
Nigerians have been assured that the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari will respect and accept whatever is the final verdict of the Supreme Court on the raging controversial Value Added Tax (VAT) meaning that the FG is ready to battle Rivers and Lagos States that blazed the trail of the VAT imbroglio to a logical conclusion.
Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, stated this during an interview with Arise TV but avoided the reason he mentioned Supreme Court instead of seeking a political solution to the matter.
Adesina said, “Eventually, we will have a legal pronouncement, which may come from the highest court in the land. Knowing the Buhari administration, it will obey the rule of law.”
He added that “All these states are not unanimous. You have heard some governors speaking out against the position of certain states which are so militant on this VAT issue.
“The VAT is good because there have been talks about restructuring and fiscal federalism in the country. If states eventually get their demands in respect of VAT, there will be something like fulfilling fiscal federalism. But then, fiscal federalism itself must be done within the ambits of the law.”
The row over who collects VAT between the Federal Government and the state governments broke out after last month’s verdict by a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that Rivers State has the right to collect VAT in its domain; which the Rivers State Government quickly enacted a VAT law and commenced the process to start the collection.
Recall that Lagos State, which produces the highest amount of VAT, authorized its own law last week, empowering it to collect the consumption tax in its domain.