…Visit to Tinubu in London not connected to 2023
Rotimi Akeredolu

By Dayo Johnson, Akure

The Chairman of the Southern Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu said during the weekend that the amendments sought by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) at the National Assembly on the controversial Value Added Tax was futile, dead on arrival.

Akeredolu said the amendments would “be killed at the State House of Assemblies.

He spoke on ‘Arise TV Sunday Talk Show’ hosted by Reuben Abati.

Akeredolu said the law does not give power to the federal government to collect VAT and share to the states, adding that the VAT should be under the state.

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According to him “That’s the position of the law. The FIRS seeking for amendment is a confirmation that they don’t have the power. The amendment will be dead on arrival. Why seek an amendment to a constitution when the provision is so clear.”

He insisted that “if the federal government was to collect VAT for states, it can only get percentage which the federal government can decide to share at the FAAC.

“You can only collect VAT on behalf of the states and hand their money over to them. You can only take percentage there for helping us to collect the money.”

Speaking on the PIB Controversy, Akeredolu said the Southern Governors’ Forum aligned and agreed with the position and steps taken by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to pursue the amendment to the Petroleum Industry Bill so as to reflect equity, justice and fairness.

Akeredolu clarified that his visit to the former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has nothing to do with the 2023 election.

He said he was in London to see Tinubu and that the rumors flying around on the social media was untrue.

Describing the former Lagos State Governor as the ‘capon’ in the south, Akeredolu said he is expected to return to the country soon, so as to meet with him and be able to take certain critical decisions.

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Asked if he will support Tinubu as the Presidential candidate of the party in 2023, Governor Akeredolu said: APC is a party. APC will decide who the candidate will be. I have said it several times. I’m going no where. If I leave APC, I am going back to my chamber. For me, whatever APC decides,I will follow.

“We went to London because It was important for us to go and see for ourselves. How he’s doing. He’s the capon for us here. But the time he comes, we can make some serious decisions.”

Speaking on the delay in the appointment of commissioners in the state and if he had not breached the constitution with the appointment of four commissioners and few Special Advisers since inaugurated for his second term in office in February, he said said the decision on the number of commissioners to be appointed lies with him.

“There is no provision that says what amount to full compliment of the cabinet only the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice is stated there.

“The number of who will work with me will be decided by me. Come early next month we will have more commissioners. I’m to determine the number of Commissioner that I will want to work with. Governor Agagu worked with less than 11 Commissioners. I’m not saying it is ideal.

Akeredolu added that ” I will have to put in more people come next month. But it can’t be as many as it was in the first term because the finances of the state is badly affected.”

Vanguard News Nigeria

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