FG Plans To Make Collection Of VAT Exclusive Right-Wike •Says Governors, BoT Saved PDP From Implosion
The governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has accused the Federal Government of planning to amend the Constitution and make the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) exclusive to the Federal Goverment.
He said the government at the centre planned to do so through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) which he accused of having surreptitiously written to the National Assembly to amend the Constitution to that effect.
The governor made the allegation in a statement by his media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, adding that the Federal Government has emasculated states by usurping their constitutional rights and powers.
“The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) wrote a letter to the National Assembly to amend the constitution to make VAT to be in the exclusive list.
“So, we intercepted that letter and brought it to court because they know that under the law, it is not within their powers to collect these taxes.
“And, in order to solve the problem, they wrote a letter to the National Assembly to amend the constitution to make them have the exclusive right. If they were right, they wouldn’t have done that,” he said.
Commenting on the recent court judgement that it is Rivers State government and not the FIRS that should collect VAT and other related taxes in the state, he said the state approached the court to seek an end to perceived infraction of its rights and powers.
The governor revealed that he has already sent a bill to the Rivers State Assembly to empower the state government to collect VAT and other related taxes in the state.
Meanwhile, Governor Nyesom Wike has declared that the intervention of the governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and members of its Board of Trustees (BoT) saved the party from implosion.
He said the convivial manner in which the governors and the BoT members resolved the crisis has given Nigerians hope that the party is prepared to takeover the realm of power from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.
Governor Wike said the resolution of the internal crisis rocking the PDP has allayed his initial fear of possible implosion in the party.
The governor said it was not uncommon for a political party to experience internal squabble in view of the forthcoming poll and varying interests, but commended the PDP governors for coming together to speak with one voice to end the differences.
“I use to be afraid of possibility of an implosion and that could have been the end of the party. But what I saw on Monday gave me a lot of confidence for the first time.
“I have never seen that happen, the way the governors came together and spoke in a convivial manner with no dissenting view. I was impressed,” he said.
Wike dismissed the insinuation that he has personal disagreement with the PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, stating that his primary concern had been to salvage the party from an impending doom occasioned by an inert leadership.
“Everybody believed that whatever the national chairman was doing was dictated by Wike and must have the backing of Wike. I believe when you support somebody, support him to succeed.
“But when things are also going wrong, if you don’t speak out, people will believe you are part of it. Therefore, I owe it as a duty to say things are not going right,” he said.
The governor however accused some members of the PDP National Working Committee (NWC), particularly, the National Organising Secretary, Colonel Austin Akobundu (rtd) of stirring crisis in the party because of his speculated governorship ambition.
He warned that the PDP should be wary of agents of the APC, whose stock in trade, he said, is to cause division and destabilise the party and noted that some of these persons are former governors and ministers.