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NLRC opposes abrogation of powers to fix taxes, fees

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Nigerian Law Reform Commission (NLRC) has expressed reservations on the proposed bill seeking to abrogate the powers of government agencies to determine taxes, duties and fees without the approval of National Assembly.

A Commissioner of the NLRC, Chibueze Okorie, made the Commission’s position known yesterday during a public hearing on the bill, organised by the House of Representatives’ Committee on Delegated Legislation, stressing that some provisions contained in the bill were unrealistic.

Specifically, when the proposed legislation is enacted into law, it intends to abrogate legislative powers delegated to the Executive, Administrative, Judicial and other offices, officers, agencies and authorities for the cancellation, imposition, withdrawal of taxes, duties and fees and to prohibit the exercise of such powers without the approval of the National Assembly.

According to him, the proposals contained in the bill which suggested that agencies would seek approval from the National Assembly to implement tax laws was impracticable.

“It is impracticable for the National Assembly to be in charge of increases, withdrawals and cancellations of taxes in the country.

“When power is abrogated, it means that there will be nothing to exercise and It further implies that if you have to vary the taxes, you have to start and end with the national assembly,’’ he stated.

Similarly, the President of National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Justice Babatunde Adejumo urged the National Assembly to focus on aspect of fees as daily approval from the legislature to charge fees would slow down court processes.

“I want the committee to look at the areas of charging fees. We charge filing fees which is meager and if we are to come to the National Assembly for approval for every fee it will slow down the process of operations. This will make the functions of NIC ineffective,” he submitted.

Chairman of the Committee, Simon Arabo, had while welcoming stakeholders to the hearing, urged them to feel free to make their opinion known to the panel, as their inputs would aid the parliament in taking a decision on the mater at the resumption of plenary in September.


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