VAT: Gov. Wike Says Rivers Not Fighting FG, Reveals What They Want
The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has declared that there is no truth in insinuations in certain quarters that the state is fighting the federal government.
Wike spoke against the backdrop of the current face-off between the federal and Rivers State governments on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT).
Speaking on Sunday in Abuja at an event to mark the 60th birthday of Mr Ahmed Raji, (SAN), Wike who was represented by the Rivers State Attorney-General, Mr Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN) explained that what they want to achieve is fiscal federalism and fiscal autonomy.
He added while speaking on the topic “Taxing Powers in a Federal System” that the state and federal governments are co-equals as they both derive their powers from the constitution.
The Governor noted further that what they are asking for is well within the provisions of the law, expressing hope that the courts will do justice to the matter which Ezenwoko’s Blog recalls has already been dragged to the Supreme Court level.
“I have heard a lot of comments being made that we are fighting the Federal Government, there is no desire or any intention of the Rivers government to fight the Federal Government.
“The principle of co-equality is fundamental to a federal arrangement, that principle leads to the principle of autonomy, autonomy leads to fiscal autonomy and fiscal autonomy leads to fiscal federalism and when you put all the principles together, what it means is that each level of government, whether federal or state is co-equal because none derives its life from the other.
“They both derive their life from the constitution because they have co-equality.
“That is the fundamental aspect of fiscal federalism and until we get it, we will continue this journey of talking without result but I think that the court has a role to play, the court can lay this crisis and controversy to rest when it makes a pronouncement,” he submitted.