The Ogun State House of Assembly has introduced the Value Added Tax Bill, 2021, in wake of the raging controversy over administration of VAT between the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and some states.
The proposed bill scaled first and second readings on the floor of the State House of Assembly, on Tuesday.
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The lawmakers gave unanimous backing to the bill, which seeks to “accord the State its rightful position as a viable federating unit amongst the comity of States generating worthy financial returns in the country.”
Both Rivers and Lagos States have respectively passed the VAT laws.
At plenary on Tuesday, Ogun lawmakers took turn to throw their weight behind the bill title “H.B No. 73/OG/2021- A Bill for a law to impose and charge value added Tax on certain Goods and services, provide for the administration of the Tax and for related purposes.”
The motion for the second reading was moved by the Majority Leader, Yusuf Sheriff, seconded by Ganiyu Oyedeji, and supported by the Whole House through a voice vote at a plenary presided over by Speaker Olakunle Oluomo.
Contributing to the bill, Olakunle Sobukanla, Ganiyu Oyedeji, Adegoke Adeyanju and Abdul Bashir Oladunjoye, underscored the need for the enactment of the proposed law in the State as a federating unit to further improve revenue accruable to the State, with a view to ensuring a seamless funding of more developmental projects.
They lamented that the State often got a lesser share of what it contributed under VAT to the federal government.
In their submissions, Honourables Kemi Oduwole, Oludaisi Elemide, Solomon Osho and Olusola Adams, opined that the bill was meant to improve on the State’s financial status through tax revenue generation, pointing out that VAT collection was presently not listed in the exclusive legislative list and thereafter sought for the consideration of tax reduction for owners of small and medium scale business.
On their part, Honourables Atinuke Bello, Sylvester Abiodun, Musefiu Lamidi and Yusuf Sheriff called for the speedy passage of the proposed bill, noting that it was a pointer to the fiscal restructuring, which had been an issue of national discourse.
Responding, Speaker Oluomo lauded his colleagues for their contributions to the bill and posited that the leading position of the State among the comity of States in the area of revenue generation must be complemented with equal remittance of allocation on monthly basis from the Federation account, saying the passage of the new VAT law was part of the need for the fulfilment of fiscal federalism.
He thereafter committed the bill to the Committee on Finance and Appropriation for further legislative actions.
Oluomo said the public hearing on the bill would hold on Thursday, 16th September, 2021 at 10:00 am prompt.
In a related development, the State Anti-Corruption Law, 2021- A Bill for a law to establish the Ogun State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law scaled first reading in the Assembly as it was read for the first time on the floor by the Clerk and Head of Legislative Service, Mr. Deji Adeyemo.