The order of the appeal court sitting in Abuja to all parties to maintain status quo has continued to raise concerns as well as different interpretations.
But stakeholders like Ebun Adegboruwa, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN), Muda Yusuf, economist and former Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Emmanuel Anyaegbulam and Yomi Olugbenro, west African tax leader. Deloitte were unanimous in their submissions that the issue of equitable distribution of the proceeds is key in bringing to an end the lingering problem of nationhood.
The stakeholders who featured on channels Television’s Politics Today, programme on Friday night called for expeditious resolution of the crisis, adding that the investing public seems to be confused with ongoing development.
The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja had ordered all parties to maintain the status quo and refrain from taking action that would give effect to the judgement of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt that allowed the Rivers State government to collect Value Added Tax (VAT), pending the hearing and determination of the instant suit.
A three-man panel of the appellate court led by Justice Haruna Tsammani gave the order on Friday while ruling on an appeal filed by the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS).
The order of the appellate court is the latest development in the series of legal tussles over whose responsibility it is to collect VAT.
According to Adegboruwa, as it is today, the law still recognises Lagos and Rivers to collect VAT based on their legislations.
The senior advocate believes that while FIRS may be hamstrung by the Rivers judgement the Rivers State government may have also been barred by the appeal court judgement. But he was quick to add that the various legislations by their houses of Assembly which came before the appeal court’s judgment may stand.
Yusuf was of the belief that the current development is a cause for worry from investment point of view as issues of uncertainty have continued to occupy the investment space.