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VAT: South South Governors Declare To Join Supreme Court Suit

The South South Governors Forum following a crucial Port Harcourt, Rivers state meeting on Monday under the BRACED Commission have declared to join the Supreme Court suit by the Rivers State Government demanding that states and not the Federal Government, should collect Value Added Tax (TAX).

All the BRACED Governor except Cross Rivers state’s Prof Ben Ayade were present at the meeting presided over by the forum’s Chairman, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa with Chief Nyesom Wike as host and the Director-General, BRACED Commission, Joe Keshi, also present.

The BRACED commission comprising the six South-South states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta, is an initiative to foster integration, socio-economic and infrastructural development of the region.

Read the communique below;

COMMUNIQUE OF THE MEETING OF THE  BRACED (SOUTH-SOUTH) GOVERNORS  COUNCIL HELD AT THE RIVERS STATE GOVERNMENT HOUSE, PORT HARCOURT ON MONDAY 4TH OCTOBER 2021.

The BRACED Governors’ Council met on Monday, October 4th, 2021 at the Conference Room of the Rivers State Governor’s House, Port Harcourt. The meeting was presided over by Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, Chairman of Council and Governor of Delta state. Also in attendance were the governors of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Edo.

After extensive deliberation, the Council resolved

1.Bearing in mind that most of the BRACED states have established their state security organs, approved the regional security architecture which would be launched soon.

2.Unequivocally supports the decision for states to collect Value Added Tax (VAT) and resolved to join the suit before the Supreme Court.

3.Council urged the President and the National Assembly to take necessary measures to review some unfair aspects of the recently signed Petroleum Industry Bill to ensure fairness and equity. It urged that the amendment should include a clear definition of host communities and that the trustees should be appointed by State Governments.

4.Council called upon the President and the Federal Government to uphold the law establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission by appropriately constituting its Board.

In addition, it expressed the hope that the Federal Government would make the forensic audit report public and deal justly and fairly with the report with a view to strengthening the capacity of the NDDC to meet its obligations to the people of the region.

5.Council regretted that the President and the Federal Government had generally failed to give reasoned consideration to requests made by the region during the dialogue with a special Federal delegation led by Professor Ibrahim  Gambari, Chief of Staff to the President. Notable among the requests were the relocation of NNPC subsidiaries and IOCs headquarters to the Niger Delta and the completion of a number of Federal projects in the region, notably, roads.

At the end of deliberations, Council expressed its appreciation to the Chairman and commended the host governor for his warm hospitality and the success of the meeting. It commended the Director-General of the Commission for his unwavering commitment to the region’s aspiration and the work of the Commission done at Port Harcourt this day, Monday, October 4, 2021

Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi O. Okowa

Governor, Delta State

Chief (Senator) Douye Diri

Governor, Bayelsa State

Chief (Barr.) Nyesom E. Wike

Governor, Rivers State

Chief Emmanuel Udom

Governor, Akwa Ibom State

Mr Godwin N. Obaseki,

Governor, Edo State

Amb. Joe Keshi, Director-General 

BRACED Commission

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