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The dispute with the states over the collection of the Value Added Tax (VAT), may prompt the Federal government to approach the Supreme Court.
Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, made this known, adding that the Federal Government was trying to find a lasting solution to the legal dispute between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the States, on VAT.
He said however, that if the contention continued, the FG might head to Supreme Court.
Malami disclosed this while speaking with reporters in New York on Wednesday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in the United States.
He was quoted to have said that a situation where there was legal dispute between the Federal government and the States, it was the Supreme Court that had jurisdiction to determine the case.
Justice Stephen Pam of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt, it will be recalled, ruled in favour of Rivers State government, stating that it had powers to collect Value Added Tax (VAT).
The judgement came to the Federal Inland Revenue Service as a shock and the agency filed an appeal to maintain status quo which was granted pending the determination of the substantive suit whether the State or Federal Government through its agencies should continue to collect VAT.
Nyesom Wike, Rivers State governor, following the earlier High Court judgement, signed Rivers VAT Bill into law to effect a legal backing.
The FIRS which is the Federal government’s agency saddled with the responsibility of generating revenue into government coffers which is saddened by the development, has been able to get a stay of execution and vowed to upturn the High Court judgement.
Added Malami: “And we are taking steps to consider the possibility of instituting an action before the Supreme Court for the purpose of having this matter determined once and for all”.