Enact anti-open grazing law now, Southern govs tell states

All the states of the Southern Nigeria which are yet to pass the anti-open grazing law, have been urged to do so immediately without further delay.

This was a call made by the Southern Governors Forum during a meeting held in Enugu, Enugu state Thursday at Government House, Enugu.

Ondo state governor and chairman of the forum, Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, who made the call on behalf of the governors said it was important that states should make haste to pass the law to check the excesses of the pastoralists whose animals deface the land and cause economic hardship.

“The meeting encourages the states who are yet to pass the anti-open grazing law to do so expeditiously,” Akeredolu said.

He said that to ensure adequate security of the region, there should be a full operation of the already agreed additional security outfit which would meet and share intelligence and “collaborate to ensure the security and safety of the region.”

According to Akeredolu, to Forum reaffirmed its earlier commitment to the fiscal federalism which they had earlier resolved at their inaugural meeting in Asaba, Delta State.  He expressed the belief that fiscal federalism would address a lot of anomalies in the fiscal policy in Nigeria.

He noted that the southern states need to leverage the legislative competence of their respective state houses of assembly as well as representation in the national assembly to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.

The forum chairman said that the meeting also resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state, pointing out that they were happy with the handling of issues around the Petroleum Industry Act, PIA, and ownership of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) by the larger Nigerian Governors Forum.

The forum chairman also pointed out that they reiterated their earlier resolve that the next president must come from the southern states to ensure enduring peace in Nigeria.

“The meeting reiterated their earlier position that the next president of Nigeria must come from the Southern part of Nigeria in with politics of equity, justice and fairness,” he said.

The forum thanked the host governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and chose Rivers State as the next state to host Southern Governors Forum meeting in November.

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