Southern Governors, under the aegis of the Nigerian Southern Governors Forum, SGF, have declared that they will join both Rivers and Lagos States, to collect Value Added Tax, VAT, in their states, noting that it is within their powers to collect VAT, rather than allow the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, to continue collecting it.
The governors also reaffirmed their stand on open-grazing ban, urging every State in the region to quickly pass a law to that regards.
The position is part of the 6 point communique of the Nigerian Southern Governors Forum, when they met in Enugu State Government House, Enugu on Thursday, September 16th, 2021, to review the state of the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in their previous meetings.
The communiqué issued after the meeting was read by Chairman of the Forum and Ondo State Governor, Arakurin Rotimi Akeredolu.
Also present at the meeting were Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta and Chairman, S/South Governors Forum), Babajide Sanwolu (Lagos), Gboyega Oyetola (Osun), Emmanuel Udom (Akwa Ibom), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun) and the host Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.
Deputy Governors present included Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo), Bisi Egbeyemi, (Ekiti), Philip Shaibu (Edo), Ude Oko chukwu (Abia), Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi) and Placid Njoku (Imo).
The communiqué reads in full:
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, 16th 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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Reaffirmed its earlier commitment to 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 Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.
4. Following from paragraph “3” above, the meeting resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the States.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
His Excellency, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu, SAN,
Governor, Ondo State and Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum
His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Uguwanyi, Governor, Enugu State
His Excellency Gboyega Oyetola, Governor, Osun State
His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor, Delta State
His Excellency Babajide Sanwo-Olu Governor, Lagos State
His Excellency, Sen. Douye Diri, Governor, Bayelsa State
His Excellency, Udom Emmanuel, Governor, Akwa Ibom State
His Excellency, Nyesom Wike,
Governor, Rivers State
His Excellency Prince Dapo Abiodun, Governor, Ogun State
Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, Dep. Governor, Edo State
His Excellency, Prof. Placid Njoku, Dep. Governor, Imo State
His Excellency, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu,
Dep. Governor, Abia State
His Excellency, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, Dep. Governor, Ekiti State
His Excellency, Dr. Eric Kelechi Igwe, Dep. Governor, Ebonyi State
His Excellency, Rauf Olaniyan, Dep. Governor, Oyo State
His Excellency, Prof. Ivara Ejemot Esu,
Dep. Governor, Cross River State