On Thursday, the Southern Governors gathered in Enugu and announced that it is within their power to levy the Value Added Tax or VAT.
This came in the wake of a dispute between the Rivers State Government and the Federal Government, which is now being disputed.
Aside from the governor’s decision on the state government’s collection of the VAT, they also upheld their agreement for an open-grazing ban, encouraging each state in the area to introduce laws banning the Ope-grazing activity as soon as possible.
Rotimi Akeredolu, Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ondo State, issued a statement following the meeting.
Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Babajide Sanwolu of Lagos, Gbenga Oyetola of Osun, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, and the host Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State were also in attendance.
Rauf Olaniyan, Oyo, Bisi Egbeyemi, Ekiti, Philip Shuaib, Edo, Ude Okochukwu, Abia, Kelechi Igwe, Ebonyi, and Placid Njoku, Imo were among the Deputy Governors in attendance.
The statement read in full
The Nigerian Southern Governor’s 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:
1. 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.
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 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.
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. IfeanyiUgwuanyi, and chose Rivers State as the next host for the
Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in November 2021.
Arakunrin Oluwarotimí O. Akeredólu; SAN Governor, Ondo State, and Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum.