The Rivers state government has informed oil companies, banks that the VAT collection will commence in September 2021 and advised them to remit such to the state and not FIRS.
Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers, said this on Wednesday at a stakeholders’ meeting with oil companies business owners in Port Harcourt.
Last month, a high court issued an order restraining the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) from collecting VAT and Personal Income Tax (PIT) — directing the Rivers state government to take charge of the collection.
However, FIRS appealed the judgement and asked taxpayers to continue to pay VAT to the agency.
Wike said the state government would inaugurate the tax appeal commission on Friday.
“We will inaugurate the tax appeal commission by Friday to let you know that we are very serious,” he said.
“From this September we must collect all our VAT, if you like to play that kind of prank of collecting advice from your head offices, you will also listen for advice from your head offices by the time I seal up your premises.
“I will shut them down. I will be happy that in my time, that heaven came down.
“Rivers state government is fully in charge of this, and we will not hesitate to apply the sanctions under the VAT Law No. 4 of 2021.”
Following the high court judgement, the governor signed a bill on value-added tax (VAT) collection into law.
Speaking further, Wike said paying VAT to the federal government does not promote development in the state, adding that Rivers generated N15 billion VAT in June 2021 but only got N4.7 billion.
“Kano produced N2.8bn in June, but Kano also got N2.8 billion — sometimes you don’t want to believe these things exist,” he added.
“If you want to take the advantage by saying you don’t know who to pay to…it’s a lie because you know. We will not look back, we will seal up the premises of such organisation.”