Governors in the southern states of Nigeria met today in Enugu and jointly expressed their support for the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by state governments.
Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said that the governors resolved and affirmed the position that the collection of VAT fell within the powers of state governments.
“The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitments to fiscal federalism and emphasized the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the on-going constitutional amendment,’’ he said.
Akeredolu urged the southern states to leverage on the competence of their houses of assembly and representation at the National Assembly to pursue the goal.
He said that the meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress made in the implementation of the ban on open grazing of cattle in the southern states of Nigeria.
“The meeting expressed satisfaction with the rate at which states in the south of Nigeria are amending or enacting the anti-open grazing law.”
“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalization of the already agreed regional security which will share intelligence and collaborate toward the safety and security of the region,’’ he said.
Akeredolu said the governors were 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.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that nine governors and seven deputy governors out of the 17 states in the southern Nigeria attended the meeting. Anambra State was not represented at the meeting.