South South Governors To Launch Regional Security Outfit

Governors of the South-South region of the country have agreed to set up a regional security outfit, which according to them will be launched soon.

This formed part of their resolutions during a closed-door meeting held at the Rivers State Government House in Port Harcourt on Monday.

Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum and Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, disclosed this while briefing reporters at the end of the meeting.

“After an extensive deliberation, the Council resolved (that) bearing in mind that most of the BRACED states have established their state security organs, we approved the regional security architecture which will be launched very soon,” Governor Okowa said.

The governors also resolved that states in the region should join the suit filed by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) challenging the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) by states.

According to Okowa, the governors “equivocally support the decision for states to collect Value Added Tax and resolved to join the suit before the Supreme Court”.

While Rivers was initially the only respondent to the suit pending before the Court of Appeal, authorities in Lagos and Oyo states have already filed applications for joinder in the appellate court.

The southern leaders also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a substantive board for the Nigeria Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

They demanded that the report of the forensic audit of the agency recently submitted to the President be made public.

The governors also called for the relocation of the headquarters of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and head offices of international oil companies to states in the Niger Delta region.

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According to them, the request has since been made during a dialogue between stakeholders in the geopolitical zone and a Federal Government delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

Present at the meeting were the host, Governor Nyesom Wike, Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, and Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.

However, Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, was absent.

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