North can survive without billions from Southern states – NEF brags

NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed
NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed

The Northern Elders Forum says North is rich and can survive on its resources without relying on money from Value Added Tax (VAT) in Southern states.

NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, stated this Tuesday, September 21, during an interview on Arise TV’s show.

He was reacting to the VAT bill passed by some Southern states – including Lagos and Rivers state – insisting that tax generated in the state be paid to the state and not to the Federal Government.

The Court of Appeal in a ruling on September 10 stopped the collection of VAT by Lagos and Rivers State pending the determination of an appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service against the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt.

Weighing in on the VAT conversation, Baba-Ahmed said: “I will advise that we wait to hear what the court says. However, even the fact that it has become an issue suggests that we really do need to address the fundamentals and the manner in which the federation works.

“We have always supported restructuring. We have always asked that a major and genuine shift initiative either by groups or the National Assembly so that matters like this be addressed properly.

“If we don’t do that now, then we should get a leader that would do that in 2023. This administration appears not to understand the importance of restructuring; we do in the north, we recognise the fact that we need to change the manner in which we generate wealth and allocate.