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Appeal Court joins Lagos as co-respondent against FIRS in VAT collection

By Kehinde Olatunji (Lagos) and Ameh Ochojila (Abuja)
01 October 2021   |   3:14 am
The Court of Appeal, Abuja, yesterday, joined Lagos as the third respondent in the fierce legal battle against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT)

State canvasses e-governance plans to put power, telecoms cables underground
• Assembly urges true federalism for nation’s survival

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, yesterday, joined Lagos as the third respondent in the fierce legal battle against the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on a collection of Value Added Tax (VAT)

The court held that the Lagos State government had established beyond doubt that it has substantial and sufficient legal rights and interests to protect in the revenue collection dispute.

In a unanimous ruling, the court ordered that all processes filed in respect of the suit be served on the Lagos State government as a third respondent to enable the state to respond as required by law to the appeal filed by the FIRS.

Justice Haruna Simon Tsamani, who delivered the lead ruling, fixed October 7, 2021, for the continuation of further hearing in the matter.

He also ordered that the matter be moved from Abuja to the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal for further hearing of the case.

BESIDES, the state government has emphasised the need for citizens to key into its e-governance system initiative.

Besides, it said there were plans to put electricity power lines and telecoms cables underground.

Acting General Manager of Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA), Mrs. Bisoye Coker-Odusote, disclosed this, yesterday, at a pre-conference briefing on the 2021 LASIMRA stakeholders’ conference scheduled to hold on October 5, 2021, at Eko Hotel and Suites.

She said that the project was the state government’s effort to harmonise telecommunications, warning that utility operators under the State’s Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA) that are carrying out illegal activities would be dealt with.

She debunked the rumours that the project was connected to the 5G networks and COVID-19 as being speculated on social media.

MEANWHILE, Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, yesterday, re-emphasised the need for Nigeria to think in the direction of true federalism, saying it is one of the major solutions to the county’s many challenges.

Obasa made the call at the 13th yearly Hijrah Lecture 1443 AH (2021) organised by the House.
with the topic: “The Role of the Youths in the Emerging Socio-Economic and Political Realities.”

He said citizens and leaders in the country should intensify efforts to salvage the economy, especially as it relates to the increasing poverty rate, and the need to make the country secure and peaceful as well as the dwindling fortunes of the Nigerian currency as against the dollar.

The Speaker, who described the topic of the event as important at this time of the country’s journey, urged the Federal Government to see the current situation as an opportunity to address the issue of the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) in favour of the states.

He said if Nigeria is to make progress, it must follow the steps of the United States (U.S.) and China, which rely on provinces.

In his lecture, Shaykh Muhyideen Ajani Bello, Chief Imam and Missioner, Ansar Ud Deen Society of Nigeria, Northern States Council, urged the youths to know that they would one day lead the country just as he slammed leaders for relegating them for too long.

He also advocated for women to be given more important roles in the governance of the country.