Reporter : OKECHUKWU EZEONA
The Southern Governors Forum says its in support that the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) falls within the powers of the states. This is part of the issues contained in the communique raised at the end of their meeting at Government House, Enugu.
The Chairman of the Forum and Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, who read the communiqué, said Meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress of the implementation of the decision reached in their previous meeting. The Forum reaffirmed its earlier commitment to ensure fiscal federalism as resolved at the inaugural meeting in Asaba Delta State in May, 2021.
It emphasized the need for the southern states to leverage the legislative competence of their respective State Houses of Assembly as well as representation in National Assembly to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian constitution through the ongoing Constitutional Amendment.
The Governors Forum also expressed satisfaction with the rate at which the states in southern Nigeria enacted and amended the anti-open grazing laws, which aligned with the uniform template and aspirations of Southern Governors, and encouraged the states that were yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously. The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of an already approved regional security outfit, which would meet, share intelligence and collaborate to ensure the security and safety of the region.
The meeting also expressed satisfaction with the army of issues surrounding the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, and ownership of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC by the larger Nigeria Governors Forum. It reiterated its earlier position that the next president of Nigeria must come from the southern part of Nigeria in line with the politics of fairness, equity and justice. The meeting chose Rivers State as the next host for the Southern Governors Forum Meeting in November 2021.