CHAIRMAN of the Southern Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Ondo State governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, 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 Houses of Assemblies.
Akeredolu stated this while speaking on Arise TV’s Sunday Talk Show, saying the law does not give power to the Federal Government to collect VAT and share to the states, adding that VAT collection should be under the state.
“That’s the position of the law. The FIRS seeking for 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 asked.
The governor further insisted that if the Federal Government was to collect VAT for states, it can only get a percentage which the Federal Government can decide to share at the FAAC.
“You can only collect VAT on behalf of the states and hand their money over to them. You can only take a percentage there for helping us to collect the money,” he said.
Akeredolu noted that the Southern Governors’ Forum aligned and agreed with the position and steps taken by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to pursue the amendment to the Petroleum Industry Act so as to reflect equity, justice and fairness.
Meanwhile, the Ondo governor has disclosed that his visit to the former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has nothing to do with the 2023 election.
He said he was in London to see Tinubu and be sure that the rumors flying around on social media were untrue. Akeredolu who described the former Lagos State governor as the ‘capon’ in the South, said he is expected to return to the country soon, so as to meet with him and be able to take certain critical decisions.
Asked if he will support Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the party in 2023, Governor Akeredolu 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 chambers. For me, whatever APC decides, I will follow.”
Also, when asked whether he has not breached the constitution with the appointment of four commissioners and few special advisers since he was inaugurated for a second term in office in February, Governor Akeredolu said the decision on the number of commissioners to be appointed lies with him.
He said, “there is no provision that says what amounts to a 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 Agagu worked with less than 11 commissioners. I’m not saying it is ideal.
“I will have to put in more people next month. But it can’t be as many as it was in the first term because the finances of the state are badly affected.”