Masari, Wike at each other’s throat over VAT from alcohol

Masari, Wike at each other’s throat over VAT from alcohol

Kastina state governor, Aminu Masari has reacted to governor Nyesom Wike’s directives that Rivers State Revenue Service (RSRS) should commence full en

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Kastina state governor, Aminu Masari has reacted to governor Nyesom Wike’s directives that Rivers State Revenue Service (RSRS) should commence full enforcement and implementation of the State Valued Added Tax VAT, Law 2021.

Masari described the judgment of the Rivers Division of the Federal High Court which allows Rivers state to collect its VAT as unfair.

Stating that the judgement will trigger a burden on people, Masari said: ”This formula has become stagnant. It is lopsided. It puts more resources at the centre and fewer resources for states and local governments.

”The burden and responsibilities of daily needs are at states and local government levels.”

Speaking during a statewide broadcast after the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) failure to secure a stay-of-execution to stop Rivers from collecting VAT from businesses in the state, Mr. Wike hinted his victory would affect states’ with low revenue.

States that have a penchant for destroying alcoholic beverages can no longer enjoy the dividends of Rivers state Value Added Tax (VAT), governor Nyesom Wike has said.

Rivers State had the second-highest Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 2020, according to a report obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Mr. Wike threw a subtle jab at northern states whose insistence to be governed by Sharia law has witnessed the loss of millions from the destruction of alcoholic beverages, while these states partake in VAT from alcohol consumption from other states.

He said he was aware that the Rivers state government’s decision to collect VAT would lead to setbacks for some of these Sharia-compliant states.

“Naturally, states with ethically restrictive social policies with economic implications may be adversely affected for now,” Mr. Wike said.

Over the years, the Hisbah police (enforcers of Sharia law) have continued to destroy millions of bottles and cans of alcoholic drinks considered a sin in Islam.

In 2020, the religious police unit destroyed 1,975,000 bottles of beer, estimated to be worth about N200 million. The practice has gone on from 2005 till date.

A Kano-based distributor of alcoholic drinks, John Simon, lamented how he lost over N35 million to the Hisbah police after they destroyed thousands of his alcoholic drinks in November last year.