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Business and EconomyReps reverse own rules in consideration of finance bill

Reps reverse own rules in consideration of finance bill

OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has approved the Finance Bill, 2021, for second reading after holding a public hearing on the proposed legislation barely 24 hours earlier.

This development apparently negates the practice and procedures of the Nigerian Parliament whereby public hearing is conducted only after a bill has been committed to second reading and subsequently referred to a relevant committee(s) which then organizes a public hearing and reports its findings on stakeholders’ position to the House in plenary.

However, the House may have reversed this practice and procedure by allowing its Committee on Finance to first hold a public hearing on the proposed law a day before it was considered and passed for second reading at plenary.

Interestingly, no member of the House of Representatives raised a point of Order over the issue as they all kept mum as the bill was unanimously passed when the presiding officer, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, put the question.

President Muhammadu had, few days ago, transmitted to the National Assembly, the 2021 Finance Bill, seeking the legislature’s speedy passage of the proposed legislation to support the implementation of the N16.39 proposed budget.

The finance bill proposes key reforms to specific taxation, customs, excise, fiscal and other relevant laws, specifically providing for enhanced domestic revenue mobilisatlon efforts to increase tax and non-tax revenues and tax administration and legislative drafting reforms, particularly to support the ongoing automation reforms by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The bill has the long title: “A Bill for an Act to Amend the Capital Gains Tax Act, Companies Income Tax Act, Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Stamp Duties Act, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, Value Added Tax Act, Insurance Act, Nigerian Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure Act, Finance Control and Management Act, Fiscal Responsibility Act; and for Related Matters.”

Lizzy Chirkpi
Lizzy Chirkpi
Lizzy Chirkpi has a BA in French and is a senior reporter at OrderPaper. She has keen interest in photojournalism and video documentary. She's also a writer and author of a book, "Pourquoi Le Francais." She likes reading, traveling and watching movies.
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