Salihu Tanko Yakasai, a former Special Adviser on Media to Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, says Northerners who are attacking Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State over his insistence on a collection of Value Added Tax don’t mean well for the region.
Yakasai, who was sacked earlier in the year for criticising the Buhari regime and the ruling All Progressives Congress government over the President’s inability to secure the country, stated this on Thursday via his Twitter handle.
The son of elder statesman, Tanko Yakasai, tweeted, “Any northerner that’s attacking Wike on this VAT issue does not mean well for his region. On this, I’m with Wike 100%.
“It’s time we look(ed) inwards and do some soul searching on how to revive our economic status in this country. To me, this is a wake-up call to Arewa leaders and followers.”
Earlier, the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt last month in a judgment in suit number FHC/PH/CS/149/2020, held that the Rivers State Government had the powers to collect VAT within its territory.
Although the Federal Inland Revenue Service applied to the court for a stay of execution, Justice Stephen Pam rejected the application, saying granting it would negate the principle of equity.
The governor, who lamented the injustice in the country, had said Rivers State generated N15bn VAT revenue in June this year, but got N4.7bn in return, while Kano generated N2.8bn in the same month and got the same N2.8bn back.
He had said that N46.4bn was collected from Lagos State in the same month but the Federal Government gave Lagos N9.3bn. “Sometimes, you don’t want to believe these things exist,” he added.
Wike had also assented to the Rivers State Value Added Tax Law 2021 in August after it was passed by the state House of Assembly.
Some states have since followed with the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passing the Value Added Tax Bill, which Speaker Mudashiru Obasa directed that the Acting Clerk of the House, Olalekan Onafeko, transmit a clean copy of it to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for assent.
VAT is a consumption tax paid when goods are purchased and services are rendered. It is charged at a rate of 7.5 per cent.