Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, on Friday described the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by state governments as a settled deal.
He believes those resisting the collection of VAT by states in place of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) would fail, despite the court order directing parties in the dispute to maintain status quo pending the determination of the suit before it.
“Our (the states’) 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,” said the governor who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.
“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 spoke a day after he presided over a meeting of the southern governors – as the chairman of the forum – in Enugu State.
At the meeting held on Thursday, the governors reviewed the state of the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in the previous sittings of the forum.
They reaffirmed their commitment to fiscal federalism and resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT was within the powers of the states.
Giving further updates on the meeting, Governor Akeredolu explained that the resolution of the forum regarding the collection of VAT was not a new position.
“What we did yesterday was to go back to our position in the Asaba Declaration,” he said. “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.”