List: VAT, 2023 presidency and 3 other crucial issues discussed by northern governors and their decisions
On Monday, September 27, the Northern Governors Forum met in Kaduna to deliberate on key issues affecting the northern region.
After the meeting, the chairman of the forum and Plateau state governor Simon Lalong issued a statement containing their resolutions.
This piece highlights key resolutions reached by the 19 governors from the northern region.
1. 2023 presidency
One of the major resolutions reached at the meeting bordered on the 2023 elections and the quest of the southern region to produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.
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The forum noted that some northern governors had earlier backed the south to produce Nigeria’s president in 2023 in order to promote unity and peace in the country.
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However, the northern governors said they unanimously condemned the alleged statement by the Southern Governors Forum that the presidency must go to the south.
According to them, the southern governors’ alleged statement is against the constitution.
2. Value Added Tax (VAT)
Southern governors after a recent meeting issued a statement backing the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by states rather than the federal government.
Their statement comes amid the legal battle between Rivers state and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on who should collect VAT.
However, in their resolutions, the northern governors said their southern counterparts are confusing VAT wait sales tax.
They argued that if every state enacted its own VAT law, there will be multiple taxations which will result in increases in prices of goods and services and collapse in interstate trade.
The northern governors, however, said they would not speak further on the VAT dispute as the matter is still in court.
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3. Security in the northern region
The northern governors also deliberated on the state of security in the region. They noted that there is a need for sustained synergy and coordinated efforts between them and the federal government, adding that some successes have been recorded.
The governors also appreciated the ongoing onslaught against banditry, kidnapping and Boko Haram especially in the region and encouraged the military and other security agencies to sustain the tempo to enable the security challenges to be permanently addressed in the shortest time.
They also urged traditional rulers in the region to play their part in checking criminality.
4. Drugs consumption in the north
The northern governors also noted the ugly trend in the spread of drugs and consumption amongst the teeming youth in the region.
They, therefore, called on all levels of governments and communities to rise to the occasion by stemming the tide.
5. Open grazing
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In what appears to be a direct reaction to the enactment of anti-open grazing laws by southern governors, the northern governors called on the federal government to expedite action on the National Livestock Transformation Programme.
According to them, the programme will serve as a springboard in transiting from the open grazing system as widely practised in the north to a controlled/organised ranching system.
2023: Why presidency should be zoned to the south - Afenifere
Meanwhile, the Pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, Afenifere, has expressed support for calls by the Southern Governors’ Forum that the presidency should be zoned to the south in 2023.
The national secretary-general of the association, Sola Ebiseni, made this known in a statement issued in Akure, on Wednesday, September 23.
The statement was titled ‘Power rotation in the Nigerian federation, presidency must return to the south.
New poll indicates VP Osinbajo is the best candidate to succeed Buhari
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As conversations around who emerges Nigeria’s next president in 2023 gradually takes centre stage, pundits in the ThisDay group have positioned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, ahead of other eminent Nigerians listed in a poll published on Monday, July 9.
The poll followed an interview of former Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida conducted by Arise TV on who should be Nigeria’s president in 2023.
Aside from educational qualification, Babangida cited age and experience as important determinants for selecting Buhari’s successor in 2023, stating categorically that an energetic individual in his 60s should be considered by Nigerians for the job.
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