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I will not tolerate attempts by FIRS to undermine our tax collection authority -Wike

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RIVERS State government Nyesome Wike has said he will not tolerate any attempt by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to undermine the state’s 2021 value added tax law.

The governor said this in a state-wide broadcast on Monday.

He said the recent judgement of the Court of Appeal that dismissed the stay-of-execution case of the FIRS against the judgment of a Port Harcourt Federal High that granted the power to the state to collect tax had further validated the state tax law.

Wike noted that the state did no wrong in exercising its legal right to stop the continuing breach of the constitutional right of states to lawfully impose and collect value-added and other related taxes within the jurisdiction to the exclusion of the Federal Government.

According to him, the objective of the state tax law was to contribute to the advancement of fiscal federalism, which he said was the only right path to economic self-reliance and sustainability for all states.

“And with today’s judgement, the way is now clear for the administration and enforcement of the Rivers State Value Added Tax Law 2021 across the entire State until otherwise decided and set aside by the Superior Courts,” he said.

“Let me warn that the Rivers State Government is fully in charge of the state and will not tolerate any further attempt by the FIRS to sabotage or undermine our authority to freely administer our tax and other related laws in our own state. Those who play with fire risk having their fingers burnt. Enough of the shenanigans.”

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“Consequently , I hereby direct the Rivers State Revenue Service (RSRS) to ensure the full and total implementation and enforcement of this law against all corporate bodies, business entities and individuals with immediate effect.”

The governor directed all corporate bodies, business entities and individuals to willingly and promptly comply with their tax obligations under the state’s law to avoid the “full weight of the stipulated sanctions, including having their business premises sealed up.”

Vincent Ufuoma is a reporter with The ICIR. He is a lover of God, truth, knowledge and justice.

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