Governors of states in the South-south region of Nigeria have shared their consensus to join the suit launched by Rivers State on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by states and not the Federal Government.
This decision was reached after convening of the South-South Governors’ Forum in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Monday.
The governors, under the BRACED Commission, also disclosed that the meeting bore the birth of a regional security architecture plan, “which will be launched very soon”.
BRACED is an acronym for states in the South-South region, which are Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo, and Delta.
Sharing the resolutions reached by governors in the region was the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa.
He said, “Bearing in mind that most of the BRACED states have established their states’ security organ, we approve a regional security architecture which will be launched very soon.
“We Unequivocally support the decision for states to collect value-added tax, and resolved to join the suit before the Supreme court.
“Council urges the President and National Assembly to take necessary measures to review some unfair aspects of recently signed Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to ensure fairness and equity.
“We urge that the amendments should include a clear definition of Host Communities and that the Trustees should be appointed by State Governments.
“Council calls upon the President and the Federal Government to uphold the law establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by appropriately constituting its board.
“In addition, we express the hope that federal government would make the forensic audit public and deal justly and fairly with the report with a view to strengthening the capacity of NDDC to meet its obligation to people of the region.
“Council regrets that federal government and the President have generally failed to give reasoned consideration for the requests by the region following a dialogue with s special federal delegation led by Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to the President.
“Notable among the requests were relocation of NNPC subsidiaries and IOCs headquarters to the Niger Delta and completion of a number of federal projects the region, notably roads.”