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VAT: Umahi opposes southern governors, says ‘we have to be our brother’s keeper’

VAT: Umahi opposes southern governors, says ‘we have to be our brother’s keeper’
September 17
15:14 2021

Dave Umahi, Ebonyi state governor, has expressed opposition to the position of the southern governors on the collection of value-added tax (VAT).

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and some state governments are currently embroiled in a legal tussle over VAT collection.

Rivers and Lagos state governments have enacted laws and called for decentralisation of collection, while states want centralised collection.

The governors of the southern states have also expressed support for the collection of value-added tax (VAT) by state governments.

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Commenting on his colleagues’ standpoint while speaking on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Friday, Umahi said the decentralised collection of VAT will make “super states” like Lagos and Rivers become major beneficiaries while other states will collapse.

“The states should maintain the status quo. Don’t forget the federal government should be the major contributor to this VAT and in their shares, states and local governments have 85% while the federal government has 15%,” he said.

“Now the federal government and the super states will be the beneficiaries, a lot of states will collapse and by the reason of rampant law, it isn’t that some states should eat and some they don’t give what to eat.

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“We have to be our brother’s keeper, we have to think of ways we can build the economy of the weakest states, if not, we will bring insecurities to those super states.

“I’m pleading with my colleagues to shield their swords, let us pass through this challenging moment before we start looking at who is right or wrong.”

The governor also appealed to the federal government to render help to his state, saying that Ebonyi state lacks resources and is “highly disadvantaged”.

“If you want us to look inward, you have to create resources to make us have comparative advantage,” he said.

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“I’m always appealing to the federal government to look the way of Ebonyi state, we are highly disadvantaged. We don’t have money to build the economy. Ebonyi state should be pitied we’re in a very difficult situation. We have a lot of our youths unemployed.”

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