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VAT collection by states will hasten restructuring, South-West group asserts

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A South-West socio-political group, Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum, has said the steps by the states to start a collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) would kick-start the agitation for restructuring of the country.

In a statement, yesterday, the President of the forum, Akin Malaolu, commended the Rivers and Lagos governments for the decision to enact law through the state legislature for VAT collections.

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The group also flayed the order of the Appeal Court, Abuja, which reversed the ruling of the Federal High Court in Rivers State that recently ruled for the state to collect VAT.

The Yoruba Ronu Leadership Forum specifically commended Governor Nyesom Wike’s insistence at going the full throttle to collect VAT payments, saying the step would hasten rapid development in many states.

It, therefore, urged other state governors that are willing to shift away from primordial sentiments and embrace the critical need to develop their environment for the purposes of achieving new income redistribution that had made most states in Nigeria to be totally dependent on the Federal Government to go ahead with their enactment of similar laws to make ends meet.

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It said that Nigerians must accept the new wind of change as an era of restructuring that is now being unfolded through rigorous thinking and legislation rather than wars, adding that leaders everywhere should wear their thinking caps and show interest in arresting poverty and reasons for its openness within their populace.

“The need to redirect energies at achieving growth should be embraced with new vigour because economic dynamic does not support the distribution of wealth in any haphazard fashion. Eyes have opened and great determination for growth must become visible in all sectors of economic lives. The difference between rational living and living wholly on faith clearly defines differently understanding from acquired knowledge through better or ill education. Economic banditry is surely nearing its end.

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“We urge coastal states in Nigeria to add port VAT charges on goods and services to their individual laws. And these laws must also cover payment of VAT on goods and services that may emanate from foreign landlocked countries like the Niger Republic, Chad and others.

“We must confess that we have been building a castle in the air all these decades, while the nation’s economic growth had been hindered by poor judgment or in the enormous by self-indulgence and whetted the materialistic appetite. Nigeria must carry its population with pride and not with disdain anymore,” the forum further said.

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