State assemblies will block FIRS move to amend VAT law, Akeredolu vows | Dailytrust

State assemblies will block FIRS move to amend VAT law, Akeredolu vows

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State

The Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), has said that the amendments sought by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) at the National Assembly on the controversial Value Added Tax (VAT) will be killed at the State House of Assemblies.

He maintained that the law did not give power to the federal government to collect VAT and share to the states.

“That’s the position of the law. The FIRS seeking for an amendment is a confirmation that they don’t have the power. The amendment will be dead on arrival. Why seek an amendment to a constitution when the provision is so clear,” Akeredolu said.

He insisted that if the federal government was to collect VAT for states, it could only get percentage which the federal government could decide to share at the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC).

“You can only collect VAT on behalf of the states and hand their money over to them. You can only take percentage there for helping us to collect the money.” He said.

The governor spoke yesterday on Arise TV Sunday Talk Show hosted by Reuben Abati and monitored by our correspondent.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), Akeredolu said the Southern Governors’ Forum aligned and agreed with the position and steps taken by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to pursue the amendment to the bill so as to reflect equity, justice and fairness.

Speaking on his recent visit to the former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, in London, the governor said it had nothing to do with the 2023 election.

Akeredolu who described Tinubu as the ‘capon’ in the south, said he was expected to return to the country soon, so as to meet with him and be able to take certain critical decisions.

Asked if he would support Tinubu as the Presidential candidate of the party in 2023, the governor said, “APC is a party. APC will decide who the candidate will be. I have said it several times. I’m going nowhere. If I leave APC, I am going back to my chamber. For me, whatever APC decides, I will follow.

“We went to London because it was important for us to go and see for ourselves how he’s doing. He’s the Capone for us here. But the time he comes, we can make some serious decisions.”

Asked whether he has not breached the constitution with the appointment of four commissioners and few Special Advisers since inaugurated for his second term in office in February, Akeredolu said the decision on the number of commissioners to be appointed lied with him.

He said, “There is no provision that says what amount to full complement of the cabinet, only the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice is stated there.

“The number of who will work with me will be decided by me. Come early next month, we will have more commissioners. I’m to determine the number of commissioners that I will want to work with. Governor (Olusegun) Agagu worked with less than 11 Commissioners. I’m not saying it is ideal.

“I will have to put in more people come next month. But it can’t be as many as it was in the first term because the finance of the state is badly affected.”