Northern Governors, Traditional Rulers meet In Kaduna over VAT, Insecurity,Others

The Northern Governors’ Forum and traditional rulers from the region are holding an emergency meeting in Kaduna State.

Top on the agenda at the meeting are issues relating to the Value Added Tax (VAT), insecurity and economic problems confronting the region.

The meeting, which is taking place at the Executive Council Chamber of the Kaduna State Government House, is chaired by the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong.

Those in attendance include the governors of Katsina, Sokoto, Kaduna, Borno, Nasarawa, Jigawa and Gombe.

The governors of Niger, Kogi, Benue, Niger, Zamfara and Taraba states are represented by their deputies.

Also present are the Sultan of Sokoto and the Chairman of Northern Traditional Rulers Council, Abubakar Saad.

The Shehu of Borno, the Emir of Zazzau, Nuhu Bamali, Estu Nupe, Emir of Kano and other royal fathers are also attending the meeting.

The governors and traditional rulers are expected to take a string of decisions during the meeting.

In his remark, the host governor, Nasir El-Rufai said the northern region is facing severe economic and security challenges that require the convening of the emergency meeting between the governors and traditional rulers.

According to El-Rufai, the forum will help chart a way forward to deal with these issues.

While highlighting the agenda for the meeting, the chairman of the forum, Simon Lalong, disclosed that the governors will take a common position on VAT collection and the surrounding controversies.

Last month, the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt had in a judgement held that Rivers State has the power to collect VAT within its jurisdiction.

However, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) challenged the judgement of the lower court at the Appeal Court.

At the Court of Appeal, Lagos State also filed an application to be joined with Rivers State as co-defendant in the appeal filed by FIRS.

After debates and deliberations, the Appeal Court ordered parties in the suit to maintain status quo pending the determination of the appeal.

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