Last week Wednesday, the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, had pointed out the imbalance in what his state generated as VAT and what it received from the Federal Government compared to what Kano State generated and received.
Tofowomo, while addressing journalists, averred that if Kano State can receive exactly what it makes, then southern states like Lagos and Rivers can also enjoy the same advantage.
He described the imbalance as “double standards”, adding that the current administration was a breeding ground for nepotism.
He said, “I am very angry more than governors Wike and Sanwo Olu and other southern governors on this VAT issue.
“Value-added tax is a tax being collected on a product that is being consumed in every state of the Federation.
“Whatever is generated in Lagos should be given to Lagos State and whatever is collected in Rivers should be for Rivers State. That is how it should be across the board.
“You can’t generate revenues in Rivers or Lagos and give them to another state while those revenues generated in the Northern states are returned to the northern states as we can see in the case of Kano State.
“If VAT collected in Kano is returned to Kano, then what stops the Federal Government from returning those taxes collected in Lagos State to Lagos and that of Rivers State to Rivers?
“The double standard is obvious. The nepotism under President Buhari is alarming.
“The President is tribalising everything in this country. It is very sad and unacceptable. He is taking the southerners for granted. They are taking us for a fool. Our national unity is being threatened day by day with tribalism at its peak.”
Wike had challenged the status quo of the collection VAT generated in states and channelled to the purse of the Federal Government, through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
He noted that the VAT generated in his state would remain in the state coffers and not be transmitted to the FIRS. The case stirred other states, especially southern states, to join in passing VAT bills that allow state-generated VAT to remain for use by these states, a move that has seen the FIRS scrambling to courts to intervene and cause the state to revert to the status quo.