South-South govs to establish regional security outfit, declare support for states collection of VAT
South-South Governors on Monday agreed to establish a regional security outfit to check crimes in the various states.
They also declared their support for the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by states.
In a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, and read to journalists by the Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum, Ifeanyi Okowa, the governors urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to revisit some unfair aspects of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) to ensure fairness and equity in the country.
The communiqué read: “After an extensive deliberation, the Council resolved that bearing in mind that most of the states have established their security organs, we approved the regional security architecture which will be launched soon.”
“The governors also resolved to equivocally support the decision of states to collect the Value Added Tax by states. Therefore, we resolved to join the suit at the Supreme Court.
“The Council urged the President and the National Assembly to take necessary measures to revisit some unfair aspects of the recently signed Petroleum Industry Bill now Act, to ensure fairness and equity.
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“We urge that the amendment should include a clear definition of host communities and that the trustees should be appointed by the state government.
“The Council called on 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 the federal government will make the forensic audit report public and do justly and fairly with the report with a view to strengthening the capacity of NDDC to meet its obligations to the people of the region.
“Council regretted that the President and the federal government entirely failed to give reasonable consideration to requests made by the region during the dialogue with the special delegation led by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, the Chief of Staff to the President. Notable among the requests was the relocation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) subsidiaries and International Oil Companies (IOCs) headquarters to Niger Delta and the completion of a number of projects in the region, notably roads.”