By Dennis Agbo
Forum of Southern Nigeria Governors has commenced efforts aimed at possible integration of the three regional security outfits in the southern parts of the country.
They also indicated their conviction that the collection of Value Added Tax, VAT, falls with the powers of states government and urged states to use the powers of the state hours of Assembly and their National Assembly Representatives to pursue the inclusion of fiscal federalism in the ongoing constitutional amendment.
The Southern Governors made the resolutions at the conclusion of their meeting in the Enugu state government house, on Thursday.
Chairman of the forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu who read the communique, said the forum reviewed the state of the nation and the progress of implementation of their decisions in previous meetings and expressed satisfaction with the rate at which states in Southern Nigeria were enacting or amending the Anti-open grazing laws.
Akeredolu said the cooperation aligned with the uniform template and aspiration of southern Governors and encouraged the states that were yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.
According to Akeredolu, the meeting “encouraged the full operationalization of already agreed regional security outfits; which would meet, share intelligence and collaborate, to ensure the security and safely of the region.
“Reaffirmed its 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 Nigeran constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.”
The forum further resolved that in the light of the above, the meeting resolved
to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the States.
They also 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.
They 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.
They chose Rivers State as the next host for the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in November 2021.