El-Rufai to govs: Don’t confuse VAT with sales tax

Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has called on state governors not to confuse Value Added Tax (VAT) with sales tax. According to him, they are different as VAT is a special tax.

The governor, who gave his views on the controversial issue at the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Headquarters in Abuja, quipped also that the anti-open grazing laws being signed by the Southern governors will not work.

Fielding questions from journalists after meeting with the APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee Secretary, Senator John AkpanUdoedehe, he said: “We took a position in the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) not to comment on the VAT issue because it is still going through the court. And until the Supreme Court makes a final pronouncement on the matter, anything that you see today can be changed.  Even the states that have passed legislation, the Supreme Court can override them. So, I am reluctant to comment on it. But people think that VAT is a sales tax. It is not. VAT is a special kind of tax. And there are many ways to look at it and I am sure at the appropriate time the Nigeria Governors Forum will look at it and take a position. But until then I am reluctant to comment on a matter that is still going through the judicial process.”

On legislation against open grazing, the governor said: “The Northern Governors’ Forum has already taken a position that open grazing is not a sustainable way of livestock production.  And we must move towards ranching.

“But moving towards ranching cannot be done overnight.  We have to have a plan, we have to have resources and we have to implement it sensibly. It is not a matter of populist legislation or saying tomorrow this or that. It is not a solution. We have taken a position as Northern state governors and we are implementing that.

“And in my state, for instance, we are developing a huge ranch to centralize the herders. And that is the solution, a long time. But can it be done overnight? No.”

Speaking on the recent defection of Femi Fani-Kayode to APC, the governor said: “I don’t comment on the decision and actions of the leaders of the party. They have the job of running the party and they have to make the judgment on whom to bring into the party. And you know politics is a game of addition. So you want to add and add. And they have taken that decision. But I don’t comment on that because they are the ones running the party. If I bring someone to Kaduna and you ask the Kaduna state government to explain, I will explain. I don’t know how to run the party. I was Deputy National Secretary for a short while and it was the only experience I had in party management. So I won’t comment on that.”




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