VAT collection: We must wake up to reality, says Gombe governor

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Inuwa Yahaya, governor of Gombe state, says the move by governments of Lagos and Rivers to collect value-added tax (VAT) is a wake-up call for the state.

Yahaya said this when he received All Progressives Congress (APC) stakeholders from Gombe south senatorial district on Monday.The governor said with what is happening with Lagos and Rivers states on VAT collection, “if they are granted the opportunity to collect VAT, what are we going to do?”According to him, if the income generated from VAT ceases, the Gombe state government would be unable to pay salaries, adding that 35 percent of the state’s earnings was from the tax.

Yahaya said the reason why Lagos and Rivers could boast over VAT collection was because of the industries they have in their states, hence, “we must wake up to the reality on the ground”.Earlier in the month, Muhammad Magaji, Gombe commissioner of finance and economic development, advised Lagos and Rivers governments to reconsider their resolution on collecting value-added tax (VAT).The commissioner urged both sides to put sentiment aside and their brothers’ keepers.

Though Rivers and Lagos had implemented laws to collect VAT in their states, the court of appeal in Abuja directed them to maintain status quo pending the determination of an appeal filed by FIRS.Notwithstanding the judgment, the Rivers state government is challenging the court’s ruling at the supreme court.

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