The fight over the right authority to collect Valued Added Tax(VAT) heightened as southern governors aligned with Lagos and Rivers government on Thursday.
They unanimously agreed that VAT collection falls within their powers and not the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) which currently carries out the function.
The states also reaffirmed their earlier commitment to fiscal federalism and for the South to produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor in 2023.
These are the highlights of the positions taken by the governors at their meeting in Enugu.
The meeting was their third after the maiden one in Asaba, Delta State in May, and the second in Lagos in July.
Southern are enacting or amending the anti-open grazing law, which aligns with the uniform template and aspirations of the Southern governors and encourage the states that are yet enact the law to do so expeditiously.
“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of already agreed regional security outfits, which will meet, share intelligence and collaborate to ensure the security and safety of the region.
“The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism as resolved in the inaugural meeting of the forum held on Tuesday, 11 May, 2021 at Asaba, Delta State and emphasised the need for Southern states to leverage the legislative competence of their respective Houses of Assembly as well as their representation in the National Assembly to pursue inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing Constitutional amendment
“Following from the above, the meeting resolved to support the position that collection of VAT falls within the powers of the states
”The meeting expressed satisfaction with the army of issues around the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) and ownership of NNPC (Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation) by the larger Nigerian Governors’ Forum
“The meeting reiterated its 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.”
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