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Senate seeks halt of new tariff on alcohol, tobacco

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The Senate yesterday asked the Federal Government to immediately suspend the implementation of the increased excise duty on beverages and tobacco pending further consultation.

Adopting the report of its Finance Committee, the upper chamber of the National Assembly said more discussions with stakeholders on the tariff regime would pave way for consensus.

It also asked government to sensitise producers and consumers of alcoholic and tobacco products with a view to understanding the rationale behind the move.

In June this year, the Federal Government had raised excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco. Although President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the amendment to the rates in March, implementation of the upward review, however, took effect from June 4.

Also yesterday, the president’s request for the confirmation of Olanipkekun Olukoyede, the current Chief of Staff to the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, as the commission’s secretary suffered a setback.

The Senate suspended his confirmation following a complaint by a member of the its Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes, Isa Misau (PDP, Bauchi Central), that the panel had not done due diligence on his screening.

Chairman of the committee, Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North), had earlier cleared Olukoyede for the job.He had also said the committee was satisfied with the nominee’s qualification and experience.But after the report presentation, Misau complained that only three of the eight members signed its endorsement page.


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