The federal government of Nigeria has been called upon to stop its actions and policies that appear to be impeding the practice of true federalism in Nigeria.
Pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, which weighed in on the tax row between the federal government and Rivers Government on Thursday said the Port Harcourt’s Court ruling allowing states to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) would enhance true federalism.
National Publicity Secretary of the group, Comrade Jare Ajayi however said the fear of possible multiple taxations that collection of VAT by states may occasion can be allayed through a roundtable discussion.
The organization also called on the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to resist the temptation to keep appealing the judgment that empowers states to collect local taxes.
According to it, such a step is another assault on the federal system that “we are supposed to be running.”
Afenifere also commended the Rivers State government for initiating the legal process.
Afenifere insisted that the manner of distributing VAT revenue “is patently unfair, unjust and is pitched against the hardworking while rewarding the indolent by a manner of speaking.”
The organisation called on the state governments to use the opportunity provided by these landmark judgments to explore other areas that the Constitution empowers them to assert themselves as federalists.
“In other words, they should step up actions that will liberate the states from the stronghold of the federal government that has turned Nigeria into a Unitary State – in contradistinction to the federal spirit prescribed by the Constitution.
“They should be rest assured of Afenifere’s support as they give vent to power devolution and entrenchment of true federalism in Nigeria,” the statement said.