2023: Northern governors reject presidential rotation, support federal government on VAT

The governors of the northern states of Nigeria have rejected the principle of the rotating presidency, saying it is contrary to the country’s constitution.

Governors also opposed the stance of their southern counterparts on value added tax (VAT).

They said so after a meeting of the Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Monday in Kaduna.

Forum chairman, Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, issued a statement on the results of the meeting.

He said that “some governors of the northern states had previously expressed their opinion in favor of a transfer of power to the three geopolitical zones of the South in order to promote unity and peace in the nation.

“Notwithstanding their comments, the Forum unanimously condemns the Southern Governors Forum’s statement that the presidency must go to the South.

“The declaration is totally in contradiction with the provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended according to which the elected president must: – obtain a majority of the votes; obtain at least 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 of the states of the Federation.

“In the event of a race, the simple majority wins the election,” the statement said.

The governors also deliberated on the controversy over the collection of value added tax (VAT) on which the states of Lagos and Rivers have made laws.

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“As responsible leaders, although we are constrained by the fact that the matter is pending, however, in the interest of educating the public, we make the following observations:

“The judgment of the Federal High Court calls into question the constitutionality of VAT, withholding tax, school tax, the Niger Delta Development Commission, the National Agency for the Development of Technologies information, from the 13% bypass, from the National Economic Development Council and many others currently collected and collected by the Federal Government of Nigeria, Federal Inlands Revenue Service.

“The governments of Rivers and Lagos States have enacted their own VAT laws and the Southern Governors Forum has expressed support for this course of action;

“VAT is confused by these state governments as a sales tax. If each state enacted its own VAT law, multiple taxation would lead to higher prices for goods and services and the collapse of interstate commerce. VAT is not a production tax like excise, but a terminal tax which is paid by the final consumer;

“Another confusion is to ignore the above observation and its ‘overall effect’. The reason Lagos is responsible for our 50% VAT collection is that most telecom companies, banks, manufacturing and other business activities are headquartered in Lagos, resulting in incorrect attribution of VAT.

“Until and unless the Supreme Court delivers a judgment on the substantive issue between Rivers State and the Federal Government, the case is pending and the Northern States Governors Forum will respect this “, says the press release.

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