Rivers not fighting FG over VAT collection – Wike 

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Abuja – Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers says the is not fighting the or any of its agencies over the collection of Value Added Tax as being insinuated some quarters.

Speaking on Sunday Abuja at a public lecture entitled, “Taxing Powers in a Federal System”, to mark the 60th of Mr Ahmed Raji, (SAN) Wike said that the was only trying to pursue what was right and legitimate within the ambits of the constitution.

The governor, who represented by the Attorney-General of the State, Mr Zacchaeus Adangor (SAN), maintained that Rivers and the were co-equal because they both derived their life from the constitution.

“I have heard a lot of comments being made that we are fighting the Federal Government, there is no desire or any intention of the Rivers government to fight the Federal Government.

“The principle of co-equality is fundamental to a federal arrangement, that principle leads to the principle of autonomy, autonomy leads to physical autonomy and physical autonomy leads to physical federalism and when you put all the principles together, what it means is that each level of government, whether federal or is co-equal because none derives its life from the other.

“They both derive their life from the constitution because they have co-equality.

“That is the fundamental aspect of physical federalism and until we get it, we will continue this journey of talking without result but I think that the court has a role to play, the court can lay this crisis and controversy to rest when it makes a pronouncement.”

Also speaking at the event, Prof. Abiola Sani appealed to the judiciary to make a definite and definitive pronouncement on the impasse surrounding tax collection Nigeria’ federal system.

Sani, a professor of commercial law who was the guest lecturer at the occasion called on the National Assembly to use the ongoing constitution amendment to bring out clear taxing powers among the three tiers of government.