Governors from the southern region of Nigeria have declared their support for the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by state governments, in place of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
They made the declaration on Thursday at a meeting of the governors held at the Government House in Enugu State.
Chairman of the Forum and Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, made the position of the governors known in a communique issued at the end of the meeting.
According to him, the meeting resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the states.
The governors reaffirmed their commitment to fiscal federalism and stressed the need for the southern states to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution, through the ongoing constitutional amendment.
To achieve this, they advised the states to leverage the legislative competence of their respective State Houses of Assembly, as well as their representatives in the National Assembly.
Ahead of the general elections in 2023, the governors insisted that the next Nigerian leader must come from the South.
They commended the rate at which members were enacting the law prohibiting the open grazing of cattle in line with the uniform template and called on others yet to do so to follow suit.
Similarly, the governors lauded the Nigerian Governors’ Forum for its handling of issues around the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and ownership of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
At the meeting, they called for the total functioning of the agreed regional security outfits to ensure the security of lives and properties of the people of the region.
Read the communique issued at the end of the meeting below:
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNORS OF SOUTHERN NIGERIA IN THE GOVERNMENT HOUSE, ENUGU, ENUGU STATE, ON THURSDAY, 16th SEPTEMBER 2021.
The Nigerian Southern Governors Forum at its meeting of today, Thursday, 16tm September 2021 held in the Government House, Enugu, Enugu State reviewed the state of 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 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 fiscal federalism as resolved at the inaugural meeting of the Forum held on Tuesday, 11 May 2021 at Asaba, Delta State and emphasised 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 Nigerian 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 Nigerian 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.
Arakunrin Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu, SAN
Governor, Ondo State and Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum