A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN, on Thursday lauded the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, for starting a “revolution” which he noted would spell an end to “feeding-bottle federalism and Abuja financial pilgrimage!”
Following the passage of the bill for the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) in both states, the rights activist applauded Wike and his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for championing the agitation for fiscal federalism for states in the country.
While noting that Nigerians have been shouting and crying for the lopsided federalism being practiced in the country to be made equitable, he pointed out that those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable.
AEW’s blog had reported that the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passed the Value Added Tax Bill, which the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa directed that the Acting Clerk of the House, Olalekan Onafeko, to transmit a clean copy of the bill to Governor Sanwo-Olu for assent.
Adegboruwa, in a statement entitled ‘State VAT Laws Is A Form Of Restructuring’, commended “Governor Wike who started this revolution” and advised the Lagos State government to seek an order from the Lagos High Court for immediate compliance with the VAT law by all persons and authorities doing business in Lagos State.
“It’s a good beginning. Enough of feeding-bottle federalism and Abuja financial pilgrimage!” he wrote, adding that other laws should follow.
It all started when the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt last month in a judgment in suit number FHC/PH/CS/149/2020, gave a declarative judgment that the Rivers State Government had the powers to collect VAT within its territory.
Although the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) applied to the court for a stay of execution, Justice Stephen Pam rejected the application on the basis that granting it would negate the principle of equity.
Wike, who lamented the injustice in the country, had said Rivers State generated N15bn VAT revenue in June this year, but got N4.7bn in return, while Kano generated N2.8bn in the same month and got the same N2.8bn back.
He had said that N46.4bn was collected from Lagos State in the same month but the Federal Government gave Lagos N9.3bn, revealing that “sometimes, you don’t want to believe these things exist”.