The details of the meeting of the Southern Governors Forum held in Enugu State on Thursday have emerged.
Naija News earlier reported that the governors met at Enugu State Government House to discuss some pertinent issues affecting the Southern region.
The Governors who attended the meeting were Governors of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi; Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu; Rivers State Nyesom Wike; Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola; Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa and Bayelsa state, Doye Diri.
Other Governors in attendance were the governor of Ogun state Dapo Abiodun, and the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom.
The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi was represented by his deputy Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi and Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde was also represented by his deputy, Rauf Olaniyan.
A communiqué released after the meeting and read by Chairman of the Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, said it is within their purview to collect the Value Added Tax (VAT).
The governors also reaffirmed their stand on the open-grazing ban, urging every state in the region to quickly pass a law in that regard.
The communiqué read in full:
The Nigerian Southern Governors’ Forum at its meeting of today, Thursday, 16th September 2021 held in the Government House, Enugu, Enugu State reviewed that the state or the nation and the progress of implementation of the decisions reached in her previous meetings and further resolved as follows:
1. Expressed satisfaction with the rate at which the States in Southern Nigeria are enacting or amending the Anti- Open Grazing Laws which align with the uniform template and aspiration of Southern Governors and encouraged the States that are yet to enact this law to do so expeditiously.
2. Encouraged the full operationalization of already agreed regional security outfits; which would meet, share intelligence and collaborate, to ensure the security and safety of the region.
3. 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 Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.
4. Following from paragraph 3″ the above, the meeting resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the States.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. The Forum thanked the host Governor, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, and chose Rivers State as the next host for the Southern Governors’ Forum meeting in November 2021.