Worried by the various problems associated with the tax system in Nigeria, especially in the business sector, the House of Representatives has moved to revisit various tax laws in the country.
A bill has already been moved and a public hearing held to seek public input on the bill.
The lawmakers will consider making tax increase an exclusive legislative affair as being practiced in other parts of the world.
A member of House of Representatives from Kaduna, Alhaji Garba Muhammad, who sponsored the bill, told Voice of Nigeria (VON) that most of the tax laws being used in the country were dated back to military regimes and even colonial rules and that tax increase will come only during budgeting or in form of bill to ensure prudency.
“We are not saying that taxes should not be increased or decreased, but let’s follow what we should. The 1999 Constitution as amended spelled out that it shall be through Legislative Means,” Garba stressed.
The amendment of the tax laws is part of 8th Assembly’s resolve to conclude the fourth alteration bill started by the 7th Assembly to make the Nigerian Constitution conform to present realities.
Speaker Yakubu Dogara while inaugurating a 49-member House Constitution Review Committee recommended a two-track approach to the exercise.
Thus, conclusion of the 4th Alteration Bill, which is pending and to process all the other new bills referred to the committee by members, including new proposals from the general public.
He said “The 1999 Constitution vests law-making powers in the National Assembly (Section 4); and in particular, it envisages that the constitution, being a living document that is expected to guide the affairs of the country may require alteration or amendments from time to time as a result of operation of its various aspects or new experiences and new thinking on some of its provisions.”