Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State has asked the Federal Government to hands off the Value Added Tax (VAT) declaring that it was the business of states.
The governor made the call at the 4th National Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) Peer Learning event organised by the Nigeria Governors Forum in Abuja on Wednesday, adding that VAT is purely a state affair and not that of the federal government.
El-rufai, who frowned at the lack of true federalism in Nigeria which he described as a federation in name but unitary in reality, noted that there was urgent need to make the necessary corrections to make Nigeria a true federation.
He called on experts to come up with recommendations that would guide political leaders in making the necessary adjustments.
The governor also affirmed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) Committee on True Federalism, which he headed, had already made recommendations to make Nigeria a true federation.
“It’s up to you to make recommendations that will make the political system to understand and make the necessary changes,’’ the governor said, adding that the ruling party has already accepted the recommendations.
Speaking on the need for state personal income taxes to be different from national taxes, El-rufai blamed the present condition of taxes on Nigeria’s colonial history.
“I agree with you completely that in a federation there should be taxes that are national, while others are sub-national.
“But if you look at our history, you will see that we come from civilian-military regimes and many of these personal income taxes acts were done by the military.
“For instance, I do not agree that national minimum wage should be under the federation, I think minimum wage should be done by each state according to the level of income.
“If you look at the 1963 constitution, minimum wage was not in the exclusive list, it was added during the military rule”, El-rufai said.
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