*Reaffirms commitment to ensuring fiscal federalism through on-going constitutional amendment *Insist VAT collection is state affair
By Ada Okafor
The Nigerian Southern Governors’ Forum at the end of its meeting Thursday, expressed satisfaction with the states in the Southern Nigeria that have enacted or amended the Anti-Open Grazing Laws.In a communique after the meeting, they stated that doing so “align with the uniform template and aspiration of Southern Governors”, and encouraged the states that are yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.
They encouraged what they described as 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”.
They reaffirmed earlier commitment to fiscal federalism as resolved at the inaugural meeting of the Forum on Tuesday, 11th May 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 on-going constitutional amendment.
The meeting further resolved that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the States.
The communique further reads: “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, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and chose Rivers State as the next host for the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in November 2021”.
The meeting was attended by: Arakunrin Oluwarotimi O. Akeredolu, SAN (Ondo) and Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum; Hon. Ifeanyi Uguwanyi (Enugu); Gboyega Oyetola (Osun); Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Babajide Sanwo-Olu, (Lagos); Sen. Douye Diri (Bayelsa); Udom Emmnuel (Akwa Ibom); Nyesom Wike (Rivers) and Prince Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).Others are: Hon. Shaibu Philip, Dep. Governor (Edo); Prof. Placid Njoku, Dep. Governor (Imo); Sir Ude Oko Chukwu, Dep. Governor (Abia); Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, Dep. Governor (Ekiti); Dr. Eric Kelechi Igwe, Dep. Governor (Ebonyi); Rauf Olaniyan, Dep. Governor, Oyo), and Prof. Ivara Ejemot Esu, Dep. Governor (Cross River).