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VAT War: Umahi maintain stance

...says FG should continue to collect VATs for states

David Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi state and chairman southeast Governor’s forum on Tuesday maintained the stance that the federal government should continue to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) for the interest of states with lesser IGR sources.

He spoke during the inauguration of the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria southeast zone led by Rev Fr Abraham Nwali.

The inauguration was performed by the National President of CAN Rev. Samson Ayokunle at the Christian ecumenical Center, Abakaliki Ebonyi State.

Governor Umahi said he will continue to preach that the federal government is allowed to collect the VATs and share its state as a way of building up the states.

“There was a time we were house boys and house girls and they were very helpful in service to other states. It is time to be built up before you can collect their VATs separately.

“I will continue to preach that the federal government should collect VAT and share for us.

Read also: Fiscal centralisation and the VAT puzzle: Should FG back off?

The governor used the medium to call on the religious body CAN, and traditional institutions to raise against the sit-at-home order by the proscribed indigenous people who Biafra IPOB every Monday in the region.

He decried that the sit at home is negatively affecting the economy of ndigbo.

“The sit-at-home is not biting the southeast Governors. If you sit-at-home, some of their children are outside the country, it’s not biting them. If the body of Christ and all the traditional institutions should rise to let them know the dangers. We fear that a splinter group may come and toe this thing we are sitting on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays and Sunday sit-at-home by the Christian body.

“Another sit-at-home on Wednesdays and Thursdays, yes, I am hearing that and then the end would have come and would have become very clear to our people. I never see when people brought war upon themselves. So, I plead with the Christian body to announce the dangers they are bringing to ourselves.

“Nobody is sitting at home in the West, in the North, in the South-South. We are only sitting at home here, what do we intend to achieve? Nothing!

“We are killing ourselves and we say we are agitating, agitating for what? So, it’s a very terrible thing. When our people push for restructuring, yes, I agree with restructuring but it has to be administrative restructuring, I will continue to preach it. Our very weak states must be taken care of before we say let everybody control their resources”.//

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