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VAT Collection: Supreme Court To End Conflict Between Federal, States – Justice Minister

Minister of Justice, Malami Abubakar

Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has said that Supreme Court will end the conflict between federal and state governments on which of them has the right to be collecting Value Added Tax (VAT).

Speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York, the Minister said that the Federal Government is considering the possibility of instituting an action before the Supreme Court for the purpose of having the matter determined once and for all.

He said that in the meantime, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) will continue to collect the VAT in view of the ruling of the Court of Appeal on the matter.

Rivers and FIRS have been locked in a battle on which of them is authorised to collect VAT.

Malami said that it was FIRS that had been collecting VAT before the dispute arose over which the Rivers government approached the High Court.

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“The position of not only the Federal Government but indeed the judiciary is the fact that status quo associated with the collecting of VAT should be maintained,” he said.

“And as far as the judicial system is concerned, the status quo as at the time the parties approached the court, it was the Federal Inland Revenue Service that was indeed collecting the value added tax.

“So with that in mind, the Federal Government has succeeded in obtaining an order that establishes the sustenance of the status quo, which status quo is that the Federal Inland Revenue Service should continue collection.

“This is pending the determination of the cases that were instituted by states, particularly the Rivers State Government and the Lagos State government. The cases are being determined by the court.”

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