…as House passes South East, South West, North Central, North West Dev. Commissions
By Levinus Nwabughiogu-Abuja
Carpenters, taxi drivers, rice sellers and indeed, everyone with a means of income should be made to pay taxes, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Olufemi Fakeye has said.
Fakeye , a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, representing Boluwaduro/Ifedayo/Ila federal constituency of Osun State spoke while commenting on the 2022 budget during the plenary session.
“I’m aware right now and it has been said here that only two quarterly releases have been made now, we are in the last quarter of the year. That makes a joke of all the effort that we put in day in, day out to ensure that the budget is passed on time.
“I pay attention to revenue shortfalls for the government. I recall when I was young, everybody paid taxes. Whether you are a farmer, your daddy was a carpenter, whatever he did for a living, he paid tax.
“Now we have tended to forgive everybody their taxation except those who have an income where the tax is taken out of your income and the rest paid to you.
“I think our tax reform should be such that every Nigerian has a chance to contribute. Go out there and talk to 80 per cent or 90 per cent of the people of Nigeria, a lot of them who are self-employed; they don’t pay tax anymore.
“So when we hear the Federal Inland Revenue Service or tax organisations, or even the tax joint boards are widening the tax net, why do they shy away from finding a way to make people pay — whether you are a carpenter, taxi driver, you are selling rice in the market or not. These people make a lot of money but they don’t get to pay anything. So I think that is an area I would like to see revenue-boosting”, he said.
Meanwhile, the House has passed bills seeking to establish a South-East Development Commission and a South-West Development Commission.
Also passed were bills to establish a North Central Development Commission and a North-West Development Commission.
While the south east bill was titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish the South-East Development Commission to serve as a Catalyst to Develop the Commercial Potentials of the South East, Receive and Manage Funds from Allocation of the Federation for the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reparation for Houses and Lost Businesses of Victims of the Civil War, and Address any other Environmental or Developmental Challenges; and for Related Matters”, that of the south west was titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish South–West Development Commission charged with Responsibility, among others, to Receive and Manage Funds from Allocation of the Federation Account, including Donations and Gifts, the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Roads, Houses and other Infrastructural Damages Suffered by the Region and the Need to Tackle the Ecological Problems and any other Related Environmental or Developmental Challenges in the South West States; and for Related Matters.’
Similarly, the bill for the North Central was titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish North Central Development Commission charged with Responsibility among other things to Receive and Manage Funds from Allocation of the Federation Account for the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Roads, Houses and Other Infrastructural damages suffered by the Region as a result of the effects of the Communal Crisis as well as tackle the Ecological Problems and any other Related Environmental or Developmental Challenges in the North Central States; and for Related Matters”, just as that of the north west was also captioned ‘A Bill for an Act to Establish North–West Development Commission charged with the responsibility, among other things, to receive and Manage Fund from Allocation of the Federation Account and International Donors for the Settlement, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Roads, Houses and Business Premises Destroyed by Multinational Crisis as well as Tackling Menace of Poverty, Literacy Level, Ecological Problems and any other Related Environmental or Developmental of Challenge in the North West State; and for Related Matters”.
Recall that already there are North East Development Commission and the Niger Delta Development Commission which caters for the south south states.
With the development, all the six geopolitical zones now have a Commission.