VAT: Gov Umahi Breaks Ranks With Southern Governors

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has disagreed with Southern Governors on the issue of who should collect Value Added Tax.

The Southern Governors Forum on Thursday in Enugu after meeting demanded that states be allowed to collect their own VAT.

But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily show on Friday, Umahi said the Federal Government should be allowed to collect VAT and share to states.

Umahi stated that Ebonyi State should be pitied because the mineral resources in the state are being stolen. He pleaded that other states should be their Brothers’ keeper.

THE WHISTLER had reported that the SGF declared its support for states to collect VAT instead of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.

In a communique issued after their meeting in Enugu State on Thursday, the Southern Governors reaffirmed its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism as resolved at the inaugural meeting of the forum held on Tuesday, 11th May 2021 at Asaba, Delta State and emphasized the need for the Southern States to leverage the legislative competence of their respective State Houses of Assembly as well as representation in the National assembly to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian constitution.

Recall that Governor Umahi had during an event on Tuesday in Abakaliki opposed the agitation by Governors Nyesome Wike and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Rivers and Lagos respectively on the collection of VAT, insisting that the FIRS should take charge of the collection.

According to the governor “Ebonyi state is not in support of any state collecting VAT. We are in support that FIRS should continue to collect tax and share.”

Wike had earlier enacted laws to collect VAT in his state, a move that was also adopted by Lagos, with other southern states, including Ogun and Akwa Ibom, ready to follow suit.

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