KATSINA State Governor Aminu Masari has said that the economies of both Rivers and Lagos states will be nothing without the contributions of other states in the country.
Masari, who stated this during a recent interview, said states agitating for the control of value-added tax (VAT) in their respective domain were joking.
He said all states benefitted from each other in the revenue equation and no one should look down on another because of those configurations.
“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?” Masari said.
“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?
“Any state that thinks it can survive in isolation is joking. We provide the demand that makes Lagos what it is.”
Controversies have continued to grow across the country after a Port Harcourt Federal High Court ruled last month that the Rivers State Government had the powers to collect VAT within its territory.
In response through its house of assembly, Rivers State enacted the state VAT law and immediately expressed readiness to enforce the judgment beginning from this month.
Last week, Lagos State followed suit by enacting and signing the state VAT bill into law.
The state joined Rivers as a co-defendant in an appeal filed by the FIRS against the Federal High Court judgement.
But an Abuja Court of Appeal has ruled that all parties in the matter should maintain status quo.
Last Tuesday, Rivers State Government asked the Supreme Court to set aside the ruling of the Court of Appeal.
It also asked the apex court to order that the substantive appeal by the FIRS and all other processes be heard and determined by a new panel of the Court of Appeal.
On Tuesday, Ogun State joined the race as the bill to legalise VAT collection passed the second reading in the state house of assembly.
The Southern Governors Forum (SGF) has also expressed support that VAT should be collected to engender fiscal federalism.
Many Nigerians have said that the current VAT face-off will set the nation on the path of fiscal federalism.