Kogi State government says it will not be drawn into the value-added tax collection row sparked by Lagos and Rivers states.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers had on August 20 signed into law the VAT bill that empowers the state to collect VAT of businesses operating within its geography.
Lagos State government followed suit on Thursday after its house of assembly passed a unanimous vote by the lawmakers.
Reacting to the development in an interview with Arise TV on Friday, Kingsley Fanwo, Kogi’s commissioner for information and communication, said Kogi State opposes the development despite its advantages.
He said “we are not created equally, and God that created us did not give us equal potential, and we have to support one another”.
The commissioner then added, “this call shows that some of our leaders are insensitive, self-centred and trying to make policies that will further divide the country”.
“Kogi is bordered by about 10 states of the federation and a gateway to the north, south, to everywhere. And you know that thousands of vehicles transverse the state on a daily basis. It’s the mineral capital of Nigeria. When you look at our advantages, we should even be at the forefront of fighting for VAT to be completely retained in the state,” Fanwo said.
“But I think we should take it beyond this when you look at the development of the south-west in those days — the cocoa house — and the groundnut pyramids in the north, the whole of Nigeria is reaping the benefit till today. And what we need to do at this material time as leaders is to stop thinking about ourselves alone.
“The position of governor Yahaya Bello on this is very clear: we will not jump on that bandwagon to call for the retention of VAT completely in the state. We are not created equally, and God that created us did not give us equal potential, and we have to support one another.”