Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State have appealed to other sister states in Nigeria to join the State in the struggle to secure the right to impose and collect Value Added Tax (VAT) at the sub-national level.
Recall that in October 2021, Rivers State Government, through its Attorney-General, prayed the Supreme Court of Nigeria to set-aside the decision of the Court of Appeal that ordered the State to maintain status quo on the collection of VAT, pending the determination of an appeal filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS on behalf of the federal government.
Wike made the appeal while presenting the sum of N550, 666,987,238.00 for the fiscal year 2023 Budget to Rivers State House of Assembly christened the 2023 appropriation bill, “Budget of Consolidation and Continuity” for approval on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State Capital.
The State remains determined to reduce its dependence on statutory federal allocations to finance its budget and development, according to the Governor whose second term in office will end on May 29, 2022.
The budget proposal which comprises Capital and recurrent Expenditure of N550, 666,987,238.00 for the fiscal year, with a projection of the sum of ₦350,977,495,537.00 as Capital Expenditure for the fiscal year 2023.
He said, “This amount represents about 63.2% of the total Budget and conforms to our practice of prioritising Capital Expenditures over recurrent.”
Under Capital expenditure, Wike said the State will spend N114,264,480,208 on infrastructure, N36,999,486,717 specifically on education and N31,500,002,023 on health.
“Accordingly, the sum of N114,264,480,208 is provided in the 2023 capital budget estimate to fund the completion of all ongoing roads and other physical infrastructural projects awarded by our administration.”
The Governor also spoke on the budget performance for the ongoing year 2022, sources of revenue to fund the Budget and breakdown of the proposal allocated to other sectors of the economic and projects in the State.
Responding, the Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, commended the Governor for prudent allocation of resources which have put in place a roadmap for the development of the State.
TheNewspad reports that the Budget was thereafter accorded its first reading ahead of further celebration on the Budget before the house adjourned proceedings.