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2023 Presidency: Southern governors want slot, insist states must collect VAT

Southern governors met in Enugu on Thursday and insisted on the next President of the country emerging from the south. They said this is to…

Southern governors met in Enugu on Thursday and insisted on the next President of the country emerging from the south.

They said this is to ensure equity, justice and fairness in 2023.

The southern governors also agreed that the contentious collection of the Value Added Tax (VAT) should be done by the State governments.

They collectively agreed to commence the collection of VAT, insisting that the governments have the powers to collect VAT.

Daily Trust reports that of late there has been controversy concerning which tier of government is constitutionally empowered to collect VAT.

The Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, read the communiqué from the meeting.

The meeting is a follow-up to the earlier meetings held in Asaba, the Delta State capital and Alausa, Lagos State, where the governors reached conclusions to ban open grazing to curb increasing farmer/herders crisis, restructuring of the country and calls for state police.

He said that the collection of VAT by the state governments would go a long way in boosting their economic growth and development unlike when the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, has the responsibility of collecting VAT which goes into the coffers of the federal government.

Also, the forum expressed satisfaction with the states in the region that have successfully implemented the anti-open grazing law in line with the decision reached during the meeting held in Delta State.

The forum called on other states in the region that are yet to implement the decision to do so, as according to Akeredolu, it represents the aspirations of the people in the region.

The governors present were Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) and and Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta).

Others are Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The deputy governors present were Mr Bisi Egbeyemi of Ekiti, Mr Rauf Olaniyan of Oyo, Dr Kelechi Igwe of Ebonyi, Chief Ude Oko-Chukwu of Abia, Mr Philip Shuaibu of Edo, Prof. Ivara Esu of Cross River and Prof. Placid Njoku of Imo.

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