Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has alleged that the Federal Inland Revenue Service has secretly written to the National Assembly, through the office of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, seeking to transfer the collection of Value Added Tax to the exclusive legislative list.
The governor said the FIRS’ move came after the Rivers State Government, through the state Attorney General, challenged the collection of VAT by the FIRS in court.
Wike said this during an interactive session with corporate organisations in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
The governor, who described the action of the FIRS as another form of corruption, said, “You wrote to the National Assembly through the office of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Reps to amend the constitution when we were already challenging that it is not your responsibility to collect VAT.
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“You knew that what you were doing was not right. You now, on the 1st of July, wrote a letter to the National Assembly, through the office of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, to insert VAT in the exclusive legislative list.
“So you know that VAT is not under the exclusive list; you now surreptitiously come through the back for them to amend the constitution so that you can have VAT under your jurisdiction”.
Wike alleged that the FIRS had written to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to have the suit transferred from Port Harcourt to Abuja for “logistics reasons”, which was, however, rejected by the court.
The governor vowed to continue fighting for “what is right” as long as he remained governor.