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South South Govs Resolve to Join VAT Suit In Supreme Court

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*Set to commission regional security outfit

The South South Governors Forum have declared their support for states to collect Valued Added Tax as ordered by a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers capital.

The governors from Rivers, Edo, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Delta States who made the declaration on Monday, after a closed-door meeting at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, resolved to join the suit before the Supreme Court on VAT.

The resolutions of the governors was presented the newsmen by Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

Also, as part of their resolutions at the meeting, the governor’s urged that in constituting the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) board, the federal government should follow the law establishing the commission,

They also demanded that the NDDC forensic audit should be made public.

The governor’s regretted that the federal government had failed in their demand that the Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation subsidiaries and IOC headquarters be relocated to the Niger Delta region, and called for the completion of federal projects in the region.

They said that the South South states had established their security organs which will soon be launched.

The governors added that National Assembly in amending the Petroleum Industrial Act, should consider mostly the oil and gas host communities.

“The South South Governors Forum met on Monday, October 4, 2021 at the conference room of the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt. The meeting was presided over by myself, Governor Okowa and Governor’s of Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom.

“After an extensive deliberation, the Council resolved: Bearing in mind that most of the BRACE states have established their state security organs, we have improved the regional security architecture which will be launched very soon.

“An equivocally support for state to collect Valued Added Tax (VAT) and Resolve to join the suit before the Supreme Court.

“Council urged the President and National Assembly to take ernest premeasure to some unfair aspect of the recently signed Petroleum Industry Bill now Act, to ensure fairness and equity. It urged that the amendment should include the clear definition of host communities and that the trustees should be appointed by state governments.

“Council call 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, it expressed the hope that the federal government will make Forensic Audit Report public and do justice and fairly to the report with a view to strengthen the capacity of NDDC to meet it obligations to the people of the region.

“Council regretted that the President and the federal government has generally failed to give reason and consideration to request made by the region during the dialogue with a special federal delegation led by Prof Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to the President. Notable among the request were the relocation of NNPC subsidiaries and IOC headquarters to the Niger Delta and the completion of a number of federal projects in the region, notably roads”.

However, the council expressed appreciation to the chairman and the host governor, Nyesom Wike, for his hospitality and the success of the meeting.

Meanwhile, it was observed that the Governor of Cross River, Prof Ben Ayade, who recently defected to the All Progressive Congress ( APC), was absent at the meeting.
-THISDAY

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