From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Rivers State Government has dismissed an online report alleging that Governor Nyesom Wike in his recent state broadcast said states that forbid the sale of alcoholic beverages would no longer enjoy Value Added Tax (VAT) generated from Rivers.
The Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Kelvin Ebiri, said in a statement on Wednesday that the report credited to the governor was the handiwork of ‘the purveyors of lies’, who want to cause ‘public disaffection.’
The statement reads:
‘The attention of the Rivers State Government has been drawn to a false online publication credited to the Governor of the State, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.
“In the said publication circulating on social media, the purveyors of lies alleged that Governor Wike in a statewide broadcast on Monday, 6th September 2021, asserted that states which forbid sales of alcoholic beverages within their jurisdiction can no longer continue to enjoy Value Added Tax, (VAT) receipts generated from Rivers State.
‘While it is true that Governor Wike made a statewide broadcast on the aforementioned date, shortly after the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt dismissed Federal Inland Services (FIRS) request for a stay of execution on the judgement of the court which declared Rivers State as constitutionally empowered to collect VAT and other related taxes in the state, he never said states that forbid sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages will no longer benefit from VAT generated in Rivers State.
‘The Rivers State Government considers this obnoxious publication malicious, politically motivated and intended to fan the embers of hatred and cause public disaffection.’
The state government urged members of the public to disregard the said publication.