Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, commends Governors of the South-South Geopolitical Zone over the far-reaching resolutions at their meeting held in Port Harcourt on Monday, October 4, 2021.
PANDEF notes that the decisions taken by the Governors are critical to the security, safety and wellbeing of the people. And by this, the Governors have demonstrated that they are in tune with the feelings and aspirations of their people.
PANDEF is particularly delighted at the governors’ decision to establish South-South Security Architecture, like other zones in the country, to complement the nation’s security agencies in the zone. The fact is that given the degenerating security situation in the country, the whole of the Niger Delta region, particularly, the South-South zone is under existential threat.
PANDEF also lauds the governors’ resolve to join the VAT lawsuit at the Supreme Court, in solidarity with Rivers State on the position that Value Added Tax (VAT) should be collected by states.
PANDEF similarly heralds the governors’ positions on the Petroleum Industry Act, the NDDC forensic audit report, and their call on the President to uphold the law establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by appropriately constituting its board.
It is quite pleasing that the governors re-echoed the call for the relocation of headquarters of International Oil Companies, and even NNPC subsidiaries, to the Niger Delta. It is baffling that the federal government has remained indifferent to this just demand of the Niger Delta people, thus denying the region plausible benefits, while, the paradoxical realities, arising from the industry, remain glaring in the region.
PANDEF is happy with the cohesion and cordiality amongst governors but notes that similar cooperation is needed with other political leaders of the zone, irrespective of party differences, in the overall interest of the zone.
PANDEF, further calls on the Governors to strengthen the BRACED Commission to fast track the economic integration and development of the geopolitical zone.
Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, FNSE