September 16, (THEWILL) – The Southern Governors Forum on Thursday declared that it is within the purview of the State Government and not the Federal Government to collect the Value Added Tax ( VAT).
The Governors also restated calls for a Southern President to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
The governors, who also reaffirmed their stand on open-grazing ban, urged every State in the region to quickly pass a law to that regards.
Thursday’s meeting is coming just over two months after the governors met in Lagos State where they made a series of decisions including banning open grazing.
Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, made these known as part of the resolutions of the meeting which held in Enugu on Thursday.
The communiqué read in full: “The Nigerian Southern Governors’ Forum at its meeting of today, Thursday, 16th September 2021 held in the Government House, Enugu, Enugu State reviewed the state or the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in her previous meetings and further resolved as follows:
“Expressed satisfaction with the rate at which the States in the Southern Nigeria are enacting or amending the Anti- Open Grazing Laws which align with the uniform template and aspiration of Southern Governors and encouraged the States that are yet to enact this law to do so expeditiously.
“Encouraged the full operationalization of already agreed regional security outfits; which would meet, share intelligence and collaborate, to ensure the security and safety of the region.
“Reaffirmed its earlier commitment to Structural and fiscal federalism as resolved at the inaugural meeting of the
Forum held on Tuesday, 11th May 2021 at Asaba, Delta State and emphasized the need for the Southern States to leverage the legislative competence of their respective State Houses of Assembly as well as representation in the National assembly to pursue its inclusion in the Nigeran Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.
“Following from paragraph 3″ above, the meeting resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the States.
“Expressed satisfaction with the handling of issues around the Petroleum Industry ACT (PIA) and ownership of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by the larger Nigerian Governors’ Forum.
“Reiterated their earlier position that the next President of Nigeria must come from the Southern part of Nigeria in
line with politics of equity, justice and fairness.
“The Forum thanked the host Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and chose Rivers State as the next host for the
Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in November 2021.”
Governors of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; Rivers State Nyesom Wike; Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola; Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa and Bayelsa state, Doye Diri are present in the meeting.
Also, the governor of Ogun state Dapo Abiodun, and his Akwa Ibom State counterpart, Emmanuel Udom were in attendance.
Earlier, the Governor of Ekiti State Kayode Fayemi was represented by his deputy Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi and his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde was also represented by his deputy, Rauf Olaniyan.
Other deputy Governors who represented their principals are Cross River Prof. Evara Esu, Abia State, Ude Okochukwu; Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe; Edo State, Philip Shuaibu and Imo state, Placid Njoku.