Masari under fire for saying ‘VAT by States a Joke’

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The Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, was on Sunday heavily criticised for dismissing moves by Lagos and Rivers states to start collecting the Value Added Tax directly.

Groups, including the Pan Niger Delta Forum, the Ohanaeze Ndigbo and civil rights groups, in separate interviews with The Punch, berated Masari over his comment on VAT.

They stated this as the Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the Southern Nigeria Governors’ Forum,  Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, on Sunday stated that the move by the Federal Inland Revenue Service to amend the VAT law would not succeed.

The  Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt had last month held that Rivers State had the constitutional right to collect VAT within its territory.

But the Court of Appeal in its ruling on the appeal filed by the FIRS on September 10 ordered a stay of execution of the judgment of the Federal High Court.

On the same day, the Lagos State Government,  which had also made its own VAT law, asked the appeal court to join it as co-defendants in the appeal filed by the FIRS.

Besides Lagos and Rivers states, Ogun State is in the process of making its own VAT law.

Describing the moves as a joke, Masari, in an interview, stated, “VAT serves them and us. We provide the bulk of the market because without the rest of the states, what is Lagos or Rivers?

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