VAT: SANS Carpet AGF Malami

104 Viewed Obiajulu Joel Nwolu 0 respond
VAT: SANS Carpet AGF Malami
Obiajulu Joel Nwolu

Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, and Ifedayo Adedipe, SAN on Sunday faulted the position of Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami on Value Added Tax (VAT).

Ozekhome said contrary to Malami’s claim, VAT is in the residual list and is strictly within the purview of state governments.

He said, “He (Malami) is dead wrong. There is nowhere VAT is reflected as a matter within the exclusive or concurrent list in the constitution of Nigeria.

“If anything, it is residual and is strictly within the purview of state government in our federal set-up.

“As of today, there is a judicial pronouncement on it by the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, to the effect that only states can collect and administer VAT.

“That remains the legal position today. Until that judgment is probably set aside, that remains the law of the land. The mere statement the Attorney General cannot alter this truism.”


On his part, Adedipe warned that VAT is a serious constitutional issue and should not be politicised.

He said, “Is this in the 1999 constitution or a new one? Which number or section? Let him state it. It is not enough to say it.

“I am not aware that VAT is on any exclusive list of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Read also: VAT: Northern Govs Set to Meet Today

“Second, he is a defendant in the case, he should come to the court to come and put this across. It is not something he should give a press statement or side comments about. It is a very serious constitutional issue and therefore should not be politicised. Since we are before the appellate court, let us leave it there.”

Meanwhile, the Coordinator of the Northern Governors’ Forum Secretariat, Atu said told The PUNCH on Sunday that the forum would take a position on VAT at Monday’s meeting.

He stated. “The northern governors will be meeting in Kaduna on Monday and I’m sure one of the items on the agenda is about the issue of VAT.”

Asked whether the northern governors  would be going to   court to join the  FIRS   in the suit against Rivers and Lagos states over the  VAT collection, the forum’s coordinator said, “You will get to know the position of the northern governors on the issue because I’m sure  their resolution will be made public after their meeting on Monday “

Apart from Lagos and Rivers states, Ogun State has also started the process of passing a bill on VAT in its House of Assembly.

While some stakeholders including the 17 southern governors supported the position of Lagos and Rivers states that states should collect VAT, some northern governors, including El-Rufai opposed it.

Source; Punch

This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.

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