The governors of the 17 southern states of Nigeria met the third time Thursday, and this time in Enugu and agreed on a common position that state governments should collect value added tax (VAT)
The agreement was read out by the leader of the body and Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu. He read the communique at the end of the meeting of the governors right in Enugu.
Akeredolu said: “We resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state.”
He further clarified that: “The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitments to fiscal federalism and emphasised the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the on-going constitutional amendment.”
Akeredolu challenged the states in the south to take advantage of the competence of their Houses of Assembly and members at the National Assembly to achieve this target.
He said the body is impressed with the expeditious actions of the states to enact anti-open grazing laws as that “aligns with the uniform template and aspiration of governors in the south and we encourage the states that have yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.
“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of the already agreed regional security which will share intelligence and collaborate toward the safety and security of the region,” he said.
He also said the governors are satisfied with the handling of issues surrounding the Petroleum Industry Act and ownership of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation by the larger Nigerian Governors Forum.
“The meeting reiterated its earlier position that the next president of Nigeria will come from the south of Nigeria in line with the politics of equity, justice and fairness,” Akeredolu said.
Nine governors and seven deputy governors out of the 17 states in the southern Nigeria attended the meeting, with Anambra being the only state that was absent.
The governors in attendance include Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, the host, Nyesom Wike, Rivers State, Udom Emmanuel, Akwa Ibom, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Lagos and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta in addition to Akeredolu and Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State.