VAT Collection: Gombe Asks Lagos, Rivers To Reconsider Stance

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Gombe State has called for understanding from other state governments on the sharing formula of the Value Added Tax (VAT) generated across the country.

The state’s Commissioner for Finance and Economic Development, Muhammad Magaji, made the call at the opening of Technical Workshop on development of the Medium-Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) for the state.

He said the other states, especially those from southern parts of the country, should put sentiment aside and become brothers’ keepers in sharing the VAT generated in their respective states.

The call came following steps taken by Governors Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Nyesom Wike of Rivers to start the collection of VAT in their states.

Magaji posited that with the dwindling revenue from the federation account, it was obvious that only three of the 36 states in the country could survive without support from the federal government.

“The VAT issue will have adverse effects not only on Gombe state but almost all the states of the federation. I was part of the discussion few weeks ago by all commissioners of finance across the country.

“The realisation was that only Lagos, Rivers and probably Delta states would be able to pull through without this VAT being administered centrally, and it is our appeal that we all put sentiments behind and work towards a federation that is one, by being our brothers keepers and ensuring that what is pull together at the center is distributed to be able to balance resources across the country,” Magaji said.

According to him, it would be a very bad development that won’t augur well for the country if every state will ask for control of its resources.

He added, “Don’t forget that the oil producing states collect only 13 per cent derivation, so if you say every state will take whatever resources it has, that it means we are starting a very dangerous trajectory that will not augur well for the federation called Nigeria.”

The state Team Lead of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Muhammad Abubakar, said the aim of the technical workshop was to ensure that the state’s 10-year development plan was implemented.

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