By Bosede Olufunmi
The pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere, on Wednesday described the destruction of alcoholic beverages by the Kano State Government as hypocritical, arguing that the state, which collects one of the highest amounts from Value Added Tax (VAT) from other states, where such beverages are sold, should not be enjoying the benefits of taxes from goods it has prohibited contrary to Nigerian laws.
The Kano State Islamic Police (Hisbah) had disclosed that its office confisticated and destroyed about 60,000 cartons of beers in accordance with an Islamic law against the production and sale of alcoholic beverages in the state, saying it acted in line with a law passed by the Kano State House of Assembly.
But National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, said, “We do not begrudge Kano State if they are against the sale and production of beer in their state. What we are saying is that Nigeria is bigger than Kano State, and there is no law in the Nigerian constitution that forbids the production and sale of alcoholic beverages in the country. But what they have done is hypocritical, because Kano State shares in VAT revenues and collects more than some states, where beer is being sold.
“That is one of the reasons we are demanding for a restructuring of the country. Each state should collect its VAT and only remit due VAT to the Federal Government. VAT should not be wholly remitted to the Federal Government to be shared among all the states of the Federation. The states where beers are produced and sold should collect and keep their VAT, because the benefit of such revenue generation efforts should not be given to states that do not want beer in their territories. It is very hypocritical of the Kano State Government to have done that.”
The Kano State Hisbah Board Public Relations Officer, Malam Adamu Yahaya, said it seized and destroyed more than 30 trailer loads of beer, with each trailer having almost 2,000 cartons.
Yahaya said that the cartons of beer were destroyed on Monday evening after interception at Kalebawa on Danbata Road in Dawakin Tofa area.
“The Kano State Law No. 4 of 2004 has banned the manufacture and use of intoxicants in the state. Furthermore, an order was given by a magistrates’ court for us to go ahead with the exercise,” the public relations officer said.
Yahaya warned those selling beer to stay within their limits. He appealed to members of the public to be of good conduct and be one another’s keeper.