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Wike directs Rivers revenue agency to enforce VAT law

Wike directs Rivers revenue agency to enforce VAT law
September 06
19:45 2021

Nyesom Wike, Rivers state governor, has directed the State’s Internal Revenue Service (RIRS) to fully implement and enforce the collection of value-added tax (VAT). 

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Wike gave the directive during a state-wide broadcast on Monday. 

The governor’s directive follows the dismissal of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) application seeking to stop the state government from VAT collection.

Last month, the court had issued an order restraining FIRS from collecting VAT and personal income tax (PIT) in Rivers and directed the state government to take charge of the collection.

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Following the court’s judgement, Wike signed the VAT Law No. 4 of 2021 on August 19.

Despite the court’s order, FIRS directed taxpayers to continue to pay VAT to the agency to avoid facing penalties for failing to comply.

“Today, the FIRS has failed in its attempt to frustrate the enforcement of the State’s Law on VAT with the Federal High Court’s dismissal of its application for stay-of-execution of the judgement,” Wike said.

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“Consequently, I hereby direct the Rivers State Revenue Service (RSRS) to ensure the full and total implementation and enforcement of this law against all corporate bodies, business entities and individuals with immediate effect.

“Let me warn that the Rivers State Government is fully in charge of the State and will not tolerate any further attempt by the FIRS to sabotage or undermine our authority to freely administer our tax and other related laws in our State. Those who play with fire risk having their fingers burnt. Enough of the shenanigans.

“Fiscal federalism remains the right path to economic self-reliance and sustainability for all our States, and the benefits derivable from this case by all the States in the long run far outweigh the immediate revenue loss that some States may presently suffer.

“All that is required is for all of us to wear our thinking caps as elected Governors to collectively fight for the greater devolution of resources, responsibilities and powers to the federating States.

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“It is, therefore, very unfortunate that some Governors led by that of Katsina State are vainly conspiring to truncate this progressive reality in favour of the inequitable status-quo so that the Federal Government can continue to rob Peter to pay Paul as the nation’s self-imposed tax master-general”.

Wike further said the government would use the VAT proceeds to improve the wellbeing of residents.

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