South-South Govs to Join VAT Suit

Governors of South-South have declared that they would join the suit currently before the Supreme Court of Nigeria over collection of Value Added Tax, VAT, between Federal Inland Service (FIRS) and Rivers State.

The governors made the declaration after a meeting of the council of the BRACED (an acronym representing the region’s six states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta) Commission in Port Harcourt on Monday. They said they were in support of the collection of VAT by state governments.

In a six-point communique read by the Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, the governors said that they unequivocally support collection of VAT by State governments in Nigeria.

The meeting attended by Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike; Emmanuel Udom, Governor of Akwa Ibom State; Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Edo State and Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Bayelsa State, also approved the South-South regional security architecture which will be launched later.

The BRACED 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, the Council expressed the hope that the Federal Government would make the forensic audit report on the NDDC public and be courageous enough to deal justly and fairly with the report with the view to strengthening the capacity of NDDC to meet its obligations to the people of the region.

Also contained in the communique is the demand by the Council on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to take necessary measures to review some unfair aspects of the recently signed Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, in the spirit of fairness and equity.

Part of the communique read, “It (Council) urged that the amendment should include clear definition of host community and that the trustees should be appointed by State Governments.

“Council regretted that the President and the Federal Government has generally failed to give reasonable consideration to requests made by the region during the dialogue with the special federal delegation led by Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of staff to the President.

“Notable among the requests were the relocation of the NNPC subsidiaries and IOCs Headquarters to the Niger Delta, and a completion of a number of federal projects in the re

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