Northern Governors Forum has decried the high level of conspiracies being perpetrated by some judicial officers in releasing and granting bail to arrested criminals.

The Forum Chairman and the governor of Plateau State, Mr Simong Bako Lalong stated this while addressing newsmen on the resolution of their meeting with Northern Traditional Rulers in Kaduna.

Mr Bako Lalong who said such attitude was sabotaging the ongoing fight against criminality, emphasized the need for states to develop good and rubust intelligence mechanism as a penacea.

He said the forum called on the federal government to expedite action on the well establish National Livestock Transforming Programme as a spring board in transiting from the open grazing system as widely practice in the North.

Mr Bako Lalong pointed out that, the forum had considered the ongoing National debate on the collection of Value Added Tax VAT during the meeting.

“As responsible leaders while we are constraint by the fact that the matter is sub judice we however for the purposes of educating the public make the following observations:
(a) the judgement of the Federal high Court calls to question the constitutionality of VAT, withholding tax, education tax, Niger Delta Development Commission, National Information Technology Development Agency, 13% derivation, National Economic Development Council and many other currently levied and collected by the Federal Government of Nigeria, Federal Inlands Revenue Service”

The governor stated that, Rivers and Lagos State Government had enacted their own VAT laws and the Southern Governors Forum have expressed support for this course of action.

“VAT is being confused by these State Government as a sales tax. If every State enacted its own VAT Law, multiple taxation will result in increases of prices of goods and services and collapsed in interstate trade. VAT is not a production tax like excise, but terminal tax which is paid by the ultimate consumers”

He stated that, until the Supreme Court pronounce judgement on the substantive matter between Rivers State and the Federal Government, stressing on the matter would be subjudice and Northern State Governors Forum would respect this.

According to him, the forum observed that, some Northern States Governors had earlier their expressed views for a power shift to three Geopolitical Zone in the South with a view to promoting unity and peace in the nation.

The governors appreciated the ongoing onslaught against banditry, kidnapping and Boko Haram especially in the Northeast and part of North West and North Central.

Mr Lalong encouraged the the armed forces and other security agencies to sustain the tempo to enable the security challenges be permanently addressed in the shortest time.

The governor also stressed that, the forum had received updates on the Renewable and Solar Energy project, saying that, the request for land for the project had been summited and are being processed by the Northern States.

The meeting received updates on activities of some committees constituted by the Northern States Governors Forum and noted that recommendations contained are being considered with a view to coming up with implementation strategies.

AMINU DALHATU