Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike says impunity remains one of the major factors responsible for crises ravaging the country.
Wike stated this on Wednesday at an event organised by the Rivers State Government ahead of the September deadline for the implementation of the state’s Value Added Tax Law.
“Part of the crises in this country today is because of impunity,” he said during an interactive session between the state government and corporate organisations in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
“We are talking about insecurity in this country today; what are those factors that have led to insecurity? One of such factors, as far as I am concerned, is impunity. Everybody wants to do whatever he wants to do regardless of the law. They don’t care.”
He also spoke about the recent Federal High Court judgment in Port Harcourt which held thaf states are to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) and not the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), which had been collecting VAT over the years.
Wike said that the Federal Government agency had been usurping the responsibilities of states by collecting VAT.
He frowned at people in leadership positions for not condemning illegal practices over fear or bias.
“We run a constitutional democracy; we don’t run a military government. Yes, our democracy may not be perfect, there are certain key elements – whether we like it or not – that for us to say we run a constitutional democracy, we must have to fulfil. One of those things is to obey and respect the rule of law,” Governor Wike said.
“It is only in this country that I have seen that an agency of the government can challenge the authority of a component unit of the federation. This country is a federal system made up of various component units of the Federal Government – the states and the local governments.
“It is important that an agency of the government cannot dictate to a state government. If they will ever dictate, not a state like Rivers because we will not allow it.”