The governors of Nigeria’s south met on Thursday in Enugu and called for the next president of the country to come from their part of the country.
According to them, this will ensure equity, justice, and fairness in 2023.
As agreed, the southern governors said that state governments should collect the contentious Value Added Tax (VAT).
Despite insisting that governments have the right to collect VAT, they collectively agreed to start collecting it.
There has been controversy concerning which level of government is constitutionally authorized to collect VAT
Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the Forum, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, read the communiqué from the meeting.
It follows meetings held in Asaba, Delta State capital, and Alausa, Lagos State, where the governors reached conclusions on banning open grazing to curb the growing farmer/herder crisis, restructuring the country, and establishing state police.
State governments collecting the VAT would go a long way in boosting their economic growth and development, unlike when the Federal Inland Revenue Service collects the VAT which goes to the federal government.
Governor Nyesom Wike ordered companies based in Rivers State to pay VAT to the state government in a stakeholders’ meeting in Port Harcourt attended by representatives of Shell Petroleum Development Company and other oil companies.
In addition, the forum expressed satisfaction with the implementation of the anti-open grazing law by the states participating in the Delta State meeting.
As Akeredolu explained, the decision represents the wishes of the people of the region and those states which are yet to implement it should do so quickly.
Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babajide Sanwo Olu of Lagos and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta were present.