Zara Nwachinemere, Abakaliki
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, has disclosed that the state was in support of the Federal Inland Revenue, (FIRS) collecting the Value Added Tax (VAT) and sharing it to the 36 states of the federation.
Umahi who noted that his government was not in support that States, not the Federal Government, should be collecting VAT, urged nation leaders to speak up against dissenting voices that are capable of polarizing the Nation, even as he pointed out that True Federalism should be administrative restructuring.
He made the disclosure during a State Dinner organized in honour of the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and Nigeria Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, Ambassador Tukur Buratai, on Sunday night, at the Banquet Hall of the Governor’s Lodge, Ocho Udo Centenary City Abakaliki.
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has been on the news for sometime now over his insistence that the state government would go ahead with its move to stop the Federal Government from collecting Value Added Tax (VAT) from the oil-rich state.
He had accused the Federal Government through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) of usurping the functions of the states with the collection of VAT.
However, Umahi did not agree with Wike on this, he maintained that VAT should be collected by the federal government as been done and shared to States.
Umahi stated: “Evil will continue to thrive if good people keep quiet, we must make Ebonyi State very exceptional by rising to the challenges. When we shout True Federalism, I say, I agree, but it should be administrative restructuring. Ebonyi State is not in support of any State collecting VAT. We are in support that FIRS should continue to collect tax and share.”
“People are taking special interest in Ebonyi State and her Governor, positively and negatively, but it is very important to be in the news than for you to say there are thirty-six states, you will name 35 and say what is the other State, we have aborted it, we are now a State to reckon with and we have no apologies.
“When I say I have no apologies, you can talk everything about me but you can not say we have not delivered and so when people open their mouths in PDP to talk about APC, they should know that I belong to APC and if they like, let PDP offer any of their best Governors to come for debate with me and I will defeat any of them, not to be talking and talking. You don’t sit on people’s sweat and resources and be talking nonsense.
“We have no regrets taking our people to the centre. We have always played at the centre, we are not playing party politics, we are playing politics that will be an advantage to our people, criticize me, no problems but we need resources, we need friendship with the centre”.
He thanked the visiting Ambassador for the excellent services he rendered to Nigeria and Ebonyi State which reduced crime during his reign as Chief of Army Staff.
In his speech, Buratai who described Gov. Umahi as General in strategy and tactics, commended his infrastructural transformation of Ebonyi State.