Nigerians have continued to commend the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike after he refused ceding the state’s value added tax to the FIRS.
According to the Federal Government stipulations, states are to turnover a quota of the taxes they garner from businesses and establishments in the State.
These taxes or VAT are then shared amongst the 36 states, with Northern states getting a majority share of it.
Theses taxes are levied on beer or alcoholic beverage makers too. And the collected monies shared to state’s like Kano where Sharia Police, Hisbah are notorious for destroying alcoholic beverages like beer.
On Wednesday, the moral Police in Kano did same by laying waste to 5,760 cartons of beer transported all the way from the south.
Seeing this injustices and more, Southern Governors like Wike and Sanwo-Olu have decided to keep VAT within the state’s coffers, instead of giving part of it to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
To that effect, Wike and Sanwo-Olu’s have moved to start collecting VAT in their respective states, effectively dismantling the current system of exclusive federal VAT administration. Wike particularly said states that destroy beer lack the right to get revenue generated from his state.
Nigerians, especially those of Southern persuasion have commended Wike and his Lagos State counterpart for their boldness and courage to stand against such injustices, especially as Northern state’s like Zamfara export all the gold mined from their quarries, without any Southern State getting taxes on them, so claimed one Nigerian.
Rivers State had the second-highest Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 2020, according to a report obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Reno Omokri said, “Yesterday, Kano’s Hisbah destroyed 5,760 Cartons Of Beer. Yet, Kano gets the lion’s share from VAT on beer. I’m with Wike! We must all insist on the rights of states to collect VAT as the court and law provides. The monkey should no longer work for the baboon to eat.
Titi said on Twitter, “Wike’s audacity is what gets me. He earned the right to brag about his achievements. Shell, Total, Agip, Saipem, Baker Hughes, Schlumberger & Trans-Amadi Industrial Layout’s VAT alone, could do more than just create jobs in Rivers. There’ll be no FAAC or FIRS without the states.”
Dokun Ojomo added, “At the moment, Kaduna is generating more revenue than Kano, Oyo and Anambra. Truth is, any state that has determination will do well. Yobe state governor is in Abuja doing caretaker work. By the time the feeding bottle is removed from his mouth, his state will get busy.”
As a result of the stance by Southern Governors, there is now a clamour to get the National Assembly to pass a law that will restrict states from VAT collection.
To that, another person said, “Help me remind FIRS and Northern governors that they need 2/3 (i.e. 24) of 36 states to amend 1999 constitution. VAT collection in states is here to stay. Proposing a bill to strip states of VAT collection power is born dead.”
It is because of issues like this and more that Nigerians want a referendum or restructuring and why others like Igboho Sunday and Nnamdi Kanu want a break-up of the country.