Rivers not fighting FG over tax collection, says Wike

Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers says the state is not the Federal Government or any of agencies over collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) as being insinuated some quarters.

Speaking on Sunday Abuja a public lecture entitled: “Taxing Powers a Federal System” to the 60th birthday of Mr Ahmed Raji, (SAN) Wike said that state was only trying to pursue what was right and legitimate within the armbits of the constitution.

The governor who represented by the Attorney-General of the State, Mr Zacchaeus Adangor, (SAN) maintained that Rivers and the Federal Government were co-equal because they both derived their life from the constitution.

“I heard a lot of comments being made that we are the Federal Government, there is no desire or any intention of the Rivers government to fight the Federal Government.

“The principle of co-equality is fundamental to a federal arrangement, that principle leads to the principle of autonomy, autonomy leads to physical autonomy and physical autonomy leads to physical federalism and when you put all the principles together, what it means is that each level of government, whether federal or state is co-equal because none derives life from the other.

“They both derive their life from the constitution because they co-equality.

“That is the fundamental aspect of physical federalism and until we get it, we will continue this journey of talking result but I think that the court has a role to play , the court can lay this crises and controversy to rest when it makes a pronouncement.”

Also speaking the event, Prof. Abiola Sani appealed to the to make definite and definitive pronouncement on the impasse surrounding tax collection Nigeria’s federal system.

Sani, a professor of commercial law who was the guest lecturer the occasion called on the National Assembly to use the on-going constitution amendment to bring out clear taxing powers among the three tiers of government.(NAN)