Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has stated that Rivers and Lagos states would not have as much revenue if other states did not contribute.
The governor of Katsina was reacting to plans by Governors Nyesom Wike of Rivers and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos to take over the collection of VAT from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, according to Naija News.
On Thursday, the southern governors backed the case that is currently being waged in the Appeal and Supreme Courts.
Masari described these states’ efforts to collect VAT as a joke in an interview with DailyTrust.
He stated that the two states currently in court fighting to collect VAT are reliant on the population from other parts of the country to sustain their economy.
“First of all, this issue is before the Court of Appeal for determination, so I will not comment directly on it, but I will give you a scenario,” Masari said.
“What is Lagos without the rest of Nigeria? The market Lagos is boasting of is dependent on the larger part of the country. Benin Republic has a port, Togo has a port; do they have the population to back up the ports? Without us providing the demand part, what will be Lagos?”
Speaking further, the Katsina state governor said no state should look down on others because it makes more revenue.
He insisted that states across the country provide the demand that makes Lagos what it is.
“VAT serves them and us. We provide the bulk of the market because without the rest of the states, what is Lagos or Port Harcourt?” Masari asked.
“Any state that thinks it can survive in isolation is joking. We provide the demand that makes Lagos what it is.”