- Some governors from the north have held a meeting in Kaduna to deliberate on the issues of the national importance
- The meeting was centred on the lingering controversy over the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the ban on the open grazing
- Plateau governor Simon Lalong said the forum took a critical look at burning national issues which included the VAT
Kaduna, Kaduna - Following the controversy generated on the collection of the Value Added Tax (VAT) and the ban on open grazing, governors of the 19 northern states and traditional rulers from the region on Monday, September 27, converged in Kaduna for an emergency meeting.
The Nation reports that the meeting, which has gone into a closed-door-door session, is expected to discuss and take a position on the Value Added Tax (VAT) controversy, ban on open grazing by southern governors and the security challenges bedeviling the region.
Legit.ng gathered that while speaking at the opening of the meeting, chairman Northern Governors Forum and Plateau governor, Simon Lalong, who chaired the meeting, said the forum takes a critical look at burning national issues which included the VAT and others and take decisions that would affect the region positively.
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“My dear colleagues, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to welcome you once again to Kaduna, the headquarters of our region as we deliberate on issues relating to the peace, progress and development of our people and the nation at large. I believe that this meeting will afford us the opportunity to look into various issues closely.
“I welcome most especially His Eminence Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, Chairman of the Northern Council of Traditional Rulers, and other Royal Fathers for sparing time to attend this very important emergency meeting.
“Today’s meeting is essentially to get an update on the progress made so far on some of those items particularly on addressing insecurity which is still a major concern in the region. We shall therefore take stock of how far we have gone in tackling banditry, kidnapping and insurgency and also chart the way forward."
Governor Nasir El-Rufai, how is the host, lamented that the region was grappling with serious challenges such as economic, insecurity and that of federalism which needed urgent attention and solutions.
In his contributions, the chairman, northern traditional council and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar lll, who led the region’s monarchs to the meeting, noted that Nigerians are expecting a lot from the meeting of the regional governors, urging the Forum to reflect on the last meeting and how far its resolution had been implemented.
Sultan commended some of the governors in the region that had done well in tackling insecurity, noting that the monarchs were ever ready to partner with the governors to move the region forward in areas of tackling poverty and illiteracy.
Governors in attendance at the meeting were: Nasir El-Rufai(Kaduna); Simon Lalong (Plateau); Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); Aminu Bello Masari (Katsina); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe); Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa); Babagana Zulum (Borno) and Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa).
NEF speaks on VAT row, says north can live without the south
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, said the north is a rich region and can survive on its resources without support from southern Nigeria.
It was reported that Baba-Ahmed made the statement on Tuesday, September 21 when he featured on a programme aired on Arise TV.
He was reacting to the recent tussle between southern states and the federal government on the collection of Value Added Tax, VAT.