VAT is Consumption Tax that Belongs to States, Economic Society Chief Says

Chairman of Rivers State wing of Nigeria Economic Society(NES), Professor Godly Otto, says the hot row on who should collect Value Added Tax (VAT) in Nigeria is uncalled for, pointing out that the whole hot air is political.

Not only that. For him, the battle also has economic ,social and legal dimensions, maintaining that in term of the legal dimension, it is clear VAT is not in theExclusive list ,and also not in the Concurrent list.

While asserting that if VAT is in the Residual list, he then submits that state can actually collect VAT since it is a consumption tax.

Otto maintains that outside this,there are also implications of society, if states should be allowed to collect VAT since there is no structure in place to let the Federal Government have something at least 15% , adding that nobody knows the extent the states would exploit the matter.

The professor of economics ,further maintained that for political exigencies, his would advised all parties in the vat issue to sit and talk over it for the interest of peace and equity, more especially, for states that do not have enough resource to collect vat so that they are not denied their due benefits,citing the case of Bayelsa and Rivers state as an instance where there are federal structure owned by the two states.

On NES, Otto said that the Nigeria Economic Society is very strong and there is need for retreat to give up room for retrospection, adding that so far, there are basic issues that the body has to resolve that we give the strength to pursued further goals.

” No no,NES is very strong,and it is coming up strong.There is the need to do a retreat to give up some room for retrospection, so that some basic issues can be resolved. I can announce to you that the body is kicking and sooner or later ,we are going to start speaking”, the NES chief said.

Continuing on VAT, he said the fact that there are many sides to the controversy,the problem of VAT is the lack of political will by those responsible to legislate on what the law says,and not even that of the collection of VAT, since the issue is in the Residual List and nobody can tell of the extend it would generate.

He insisted that if the problems militating against the smooth resolution of the VAT , it would lead to a situation where companies would be driven away and also more companies escaping away from this,adding that there will be the possibility of high levels of unemployment.

As a clergy, the university don said though,everyone is aware that there are problems in Nigeria,since the country is owing so much; but said thus that what is happening is a sign of the end time as Christian, explaining that ,the way the churches operate,there are many bodies with their role as advisory but suggested that there are many angles especially the numerical factor that the president have to look at which leaders are also careful about.

” Well,their work has been advisory and sometimes , the Muslims,and sometimes ,the president have to look at the numbers: there are a lot of these issues; so they are very careful’’, he said, and reiterated that the church is trying their best but insisted that the truth about the whole matter is that the world is coming to an end and most of what we see are the sign of end time,adding that what everyone’s thinking about on that line is that the church should pray more for Nigeria.


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