The Presidency has spoken out about the simmering debate over the Value Added Tax (VAT).
According to the statement, President Muhammadu Buhari will respect the Supreme Court’ s final decision on the case.
” At some point, we’ ll get a judicial ruling, which could come from the country’ s top court. . . . Knowing the Buhari government, it would follow the law, ” Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman, said.
” All of these states are not unanimous, ” he continued. You may have heard several governors speak out against the aggressive stance taken by some states on the VAT issue. ”
VAT Collection Will Have Impact On Federalism
According to him, the issue would have an impact on the ongoing debate over fiscal federalism. ” The VAT is beneficial since there have been discussions in the country about restructuring and fiscal federalism, ” he continued. If states get their VAT requests met, it will be akin to achieving fiscal federalism. However, fiscal federalism must be carried out within the bounds of the law. ”
After a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt ruled last month that Rivers State is constitutionally entitled to collect VAT in its domain, a dispute erupted between the federal government and state governments over who collects VAT.
Rivers State Government Establishes VAT Law
The Rivers State Government promptly established a VAT statute and started the collection procedure.
However, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) persisted on collecting the money.
It appealed the decision to the Court of Case, which ordered the status quo to be maintained until the appeal is resolved on Friday.
Lagos Follows Rivers State
Lagos State, which generates the most VAT, has established its own law allowing it to collect the tax on its own territory.
On Arise TV, the presidential spokesperson discussed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’ s (NNPC) 2020 financial report as well as the security situation in the northwest.
In response to the NNPC 2020 audited reports and the reported profit after tax of N287 billion, Adesina slammed people who fail to see positive developments and instead search for the negative in every positive development in Nigeria’ s recent history.
He described the mindset of those looking for flaws in the profit news as that of people who are used to hearing bad news and who doubt its veracity because they have never believed that good things can happen in government.
” Well, we’ ve heard stories in this country before about how presidents would simply hand over notes to the NNPC and their requests would be fulfilled without the need for records. There was a lot of impunity in this country, but the NNPC GMD and even the Chief Finance Officer, Umar Ajiya, have stated that President Buhari does not interfere with their operations. It used to happen, but it has never happened under this administration. That was the reason for your claimed profit.
” However, it appears that some Nigerians have been so accustomed to bad news that they have become desensitized to good news. When they received the wonderful news, their immediate reaction was to poke holes in it because they had only ever received terrible news in their lives.
” They couldn’ t believe it when the good news arrived, but it did. I saw your interview with the NNPC Chief Finance Officer and how he explained the profit, and anyone who isn’ t cynical will see that the CFO said a lot of things that are true.
” Yes, as I previously stated, I saw the meeting with the CFO, and he emphasized that one of the things they needed to do was slash costs. Cut operating costs, manufacturing costs, and operating costs, and it all added up to the stated profit.
” It demonstrates that there was a lot of waste, extravagance, and lack of accountability in prior years, ” the guy added, adding that the President and Vice President never interfered with the activities.
” As we stated at the outset, we knew and heard, and it was true, that presidents and people in positions of power used to give directions to NNPC to do certain things, which, in the end, eroded the corporation’ s profitability. That won’ t happen again, which is why the perfect came, ” he explained.
Adesina Also Speaks On ASUU Strike
When asked if the President would be willing to speak to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in private to avoid the industrial action they had threatened, Adesina answered, ” Why not? ” The President will do everything possible to promote industrial harmony in any part of the country, but I recall that ASUU came to see the President in 2020, just before the COVID lockdown began, and the President personally received ASUU; I was present at that meeting, but ASUU still went on strike for about ten months or more.
” So, what I’ d like to say is that in our country, we shouldn’ t have a ‘ us versus them’ mentality. Nigeria belongs to all of us; it belongs to professors, to ASUU, to government officials, and to ordinary Nigerians. This mentality of ” we versus them” does no one any good. Let all sides do whatever it takes to achieve industrial harmony, even on our campuses, ” he urged.
He Also Speaks On Insecurity And Twitter Ban
The presidential spokesman said the recent closure of communications coverage in Zamfara and parts of Katsina State, as well as the lingering ban of the international social media platform Twitter from Nigeria, were moves made in the broader interest of security and peace in the country.
” Do you begin to talk about rights erosion while a country exists, if a country is already fragmented, if it is scattered, if we are all hunting for safe havens? You don’ t have to. As a result, everything that threatens Nigeria’ s unity, cohesion, well- being, or peace must be addressed. It must be faced, as was done with Twitter, and it is now being rectified.
” There are conversations, and the most recent information we had from the Minister of Information was that the talks were progressing well and that Nigeria and Twitter would achieve an amicable agreement in a matter of time.
” When it comes to Zamfara and possibly sections of Katsina, the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy spoke about it following the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday. When security and economy collide like way, he says, we must prioritize the welfare, wellbeing, and security of the people, and only then can we talk about the economy.
” So, if communication was cut down in Zamfara because security officials requested it, no one should be surprised, and, of course, you saw the results of that closure within a week. You know how the security forces dealt firmly with the bandits during the week that ended yesterday. They put them on the back foot in a big way.
” In fact, they exposed them because when they left Zamfara and attempted to enter Niger State, they were ambushed and dealt with once more. So, that’ s the route to go. He stated, ” First, we must address the country’ s security concerns, and then we can address the economy. “