…no going back on anti-open grazing laws in their respective states
“State Houses of Assembly in the South and their representatives in the National Assembly to leverage their legislative competence to pursue the inclusion of VAT as falling within the purview of the states in the ongoing constitutional amendment”
As the legal fireworks range on, 17 Southern governors spoke with one voice that they have the right to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) and not the Federal lnland Revenue.
The governors, rising from their third meeting held in Enugu State on Thursday, they said there was need for State Houses of Assembly in the South and their representatives in the National Assembly to “leverage their legislative competence to pursue the inclusion of VAT as falling within the purview of the states in the ongoing constitutional amendment.”
Persecondnews reports that the Enugu meeting is a follow-up to the ones held in Delta and Lagos States some months ago.
The Asaba declaration by the governors include call for concerted efforts at tackling the worsening insecurity, while in Lagos, they resolved to enact anti-open grazing laws in their respective states and zoning of presidential slot in 2023 to the South.
In a seven-point communique at the meeting and signed by its Chairman and Ondo Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the governors reaffirmed their commitment to structural and fiscal federalism.
They also restated the need for states in the South to “leverage the legislative competence of their respective state houses of Assembly as well as National Assembly to pursue its inclusion in the ongoing constitutional amendment.”
It expressed satisfaction with the rate at which Southern states are enacting or amending the anti-open grazing laws.
The conference urged the states that have yet to pass the bill and sign into law to do so without delay.
“We encourage 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.
“We reaffirm our 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 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.
“We express 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.
“We reiterate our 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 governors said.