In Nigeria the Supreme Court is yet to rule over the controversial Value Added Tax (VAT) collection.
A legal practitioner and tax administration expert is calling on the state government to create other means of generating more funds.
Rex Ogbuku says that as a federal state, each state should be encouraged to engage in positive competition.
“So I don’t see how this should be a problem at all but a call to begin to look inwards at generating funds and ask what we can do to generate more funds, what can we create to have more fund ” said legal expert Rex Ogbuku.
Nigerian states Rivers and Lagos are currently involved in a legal dispute with central governement over the collection of tax in their states.
The Supreme Court is yet to produce a verdict.
For Rex Ogbuku “the question should be who ordinarily should be taking VAT in Nigeria but of course it is now a subject for the court to decide. Ultimately the constitution determines between the states, the federal government and its agencies”.
The private sector has already warned that its members cannot afford to pay double VAT as they are already over-burdened by multiple taxation.
Osita Ohajiaya is a businessman and owner of a computer shop.
“To be frank with you, we are not seeing the benefits of the tax we pay, the economy is bad so how do we make money to pay tax or VAT? This is the only thing I know how to do, selling computers, so If people don’t come and buy, how do I get money to pay?”, asks the businessman.
Africanews reporter Michael Dibie adds:
“As the tussle over the administration of Value Added Tax (VAT) continues, the organised private sector warns that the uncertainty in VAT remittance is dangerous for businesses”.