The governor of Katsina state, Aminu Bello Masari, has knocked state governments demanding autonomy to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) in their states.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Daily Trust, the Katsina governor commenting on the issue said; “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.”
Commenting on the devolution of power, the governor showed his support. According to him, the devolution of power should factor areas of responsibility of states but should be mindful of exclusive roles of the federal government.
He noted the amount of revenue or salary of a governor should not determine the power accrued.
“Do you expect me to compare myself with a state that generates over N450billion internally when the best I have is between N12bn and N15bn?”