Rivers State House of Assembly, has deferred debate on the tax bills that is currently being considered by it to Tuesday next week.
Speaker, Rt Hon Adams Dabotoru Dima, deferred the debate after the Joint Committee on Finance and Public Accounts, and Commerce and Industry, presented its report at the House resumed sitting, yesterday.
Presenting the report of the Joint Committee, earlier, Deputy Whip and member representing AKULGA I, Hon Major Jack said the Committee received 12 memorandum from both government department and agencies and members of the public during the public hearing.
For the Rivers State Taxes and Levies (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill, Jack, stated that some bodies, including, the Trade Union Congress, TUC, PENGASSAN, Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, Institute of Humanitarian and Human Rights Law, IHHRL, and the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, had their reservation on the bill, while the government agencies and parastatals all hailed the bill. “They said the bill has been declared cynical by a competent court of jurisdiction. Attached in the report is a copy of that judgment’, he said.
He further stated that some stakeholders argued that item 3 of the bill conflicts with the 1999 constitution. The Committee, according to him, therefore recommended, among other things, that the schedule to the bill should include; Entertainment levy, Environmental levy, Ecology levy, Animal Produce levy, Abattoir levy Infrastructure Maintenance levy, Fire levy, and Economic Development levy.
On the Hotel Occupancy and Restaurant Consumption Bill, the committee recommended that considering that the bill is intended to boost the revenue base of the state, and considering that the National Hotels Association agreed with the intention of the bill, the percentage tax should be reduced from five percent to four.
Source:: Nigerian Pilot