Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, of Ondo State has declared that the plot by the National Assembly to amend the law on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) will fail, insisting that the collection of VAT by state governments is a settled deal.
The Ondo governor noted that people opposing the collection of VAT by state governments and supporting the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) would be disappointed at the end, adding that the order of the Court of Appeal that all parties in the legal suit between Rivers State government and the FIRS should maintain status quo pending the determination of the substantive suit.
He noted that certain stakeholders have gone behind to manipulate the National Assembly to alter the tax laws in the country, reaffirming that it will fail.
Governor Akweredolu with reference to the Southern Governors resolution that states should collect VAT, declared: “Our position is that having looked at the law, it is there clearly for us to see that taxation, or what we call consumption taxes, falls within the purview of a state, and only a state can charge consumption taxes.
“And I believe that those who are against it know of it. If they don’t know, people will not be rushing to the National Assembly for an amendment that will not see the light of the day; it will be dead on arrival.”
Governor Akeredolu presided over the meeting of the Southern Governors Forum, being chairman of the Forum, in Enugu, Enugu State, last Thursday, where the Southern Governors reviewed the state of the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in the previous meetings of the Forum.
Governor Akeredolu maintained that the resolutions of the Southern Governors Forum on the collection of VAT was not a new position.
“What we did yesterday was to go back to our position in the Asaba Declaration.
“In Asaba, we made it very clear without mincing words that we are committed to the practice of true federalism; that is all we are saying, and fiscal federalism is part of true federalism.
“So, there is no need for us to run away from it. “There are many more states that will join and there are some that will not join because at the end of the day, whatever we arrive at, they will be binding on all the states and what the southern governors have resolved is not new.”
Governor Akeredolu cautioned against plots to subvert the good intention of the governors that would encourage optimum service delivery to citizens in all the states of the federation.