The Katsina State governor, Aminu Bello Masari, has carpeted his counterparts who are demanding direct collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by individual states.
Recall that Rivers and Lagos states recently set in motion, plans to collect VAT directly from companies domiciled in their states.
However, the move by Rivers has been halted by a Court of Appeal. However, the state government has appealed the ruling at the Supreme Court.
Masari said both Rivers and Lagos were reliant on populations from other parts of the country to sustain their economy, expressing surprise that the governments of the two states would seek to exclude the rest of the country.
The Katsina governor made the remarks during an interview session with a national newspaper, Daily Trust.
His words: “First of all, this issue is before the Court of Appeal for determination, so I will not comment directly on it, but I will give you a scenario.
“What is Lagos without the rest of Nigeria? The market Lagos is boasting of is dependent on the larger part of the country. Benin Republic has a port, Togo has a port; do they have the population to back up the ports? Without us providing the demand part, what will be Lagos?” Masari said.
He said all states benefitted from each other in the revenue equation and no one should look down on another because of those configurations.
“VAT serves them and us. We provide the bulk of the market because without the rest of the states, what is Lagos or Port Harcourt?
“Any state that thinks it can survive in isolation is joking. We provide the demand that makes Lagos what it is.”