An activist, Cleric E. Alaowei, has commended the House Representatives over the ongoing move to back up the state governments collection of VAT with legislations.
The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Centre for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, noted that the VAT Bill, if passed into law, will end agitations in the Niger Delta region.
In a signed statement titled, “Reps Bill on State Control of VAT Is The Answer To Resources Control Agitations,” the human rights activist remarked that the bill, sponsored by members of the House of Representatives — Hon. Hassan Usman Sokodabo and Hon. John Dyegh to alter item 39, Part 1 of the Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution (as amended), “will, no doubt, stabilise the polity, thereby engendering competitive economy.”
In a statement made available to journalists in Warri on Sunday read in part: ”The Bill in our thinking is retaining the derivation principles provided by the 1960 and 1963 Constitutions respectively. This is the gateway to fiscal restructuring of the Country.
“The nation will in no doubt experience speedy developments of an unimaginable proportion if the said Bill is passed into law
“We commend the National Assembly for taking this bold step to solve the age-long revenue crisis in the Country.
“The National Assembly should not throw away this very important bill. Of all the ongoing amendments to the 1999 Constitution, this resource control bill is the most important that can sustain the unity of this country till eternity.
“We appeal to the sponsors of the Bill or better still the National Assembly to amend 44(3) of the Principal Act to make it in sync with the items sought to be altered in the Constitution. All Nigerians should queue behind the National Assembly to pass this Bill.”
He stated further, ”The time has come for us to depart from our ethno-religious sentiments in propagating our core values as a nation.
“This Country needs our collective imprimatur to practice true federalism which the House of Representatives have started. For us to survive as a nation in the midst of the daunting challenges, we need to practice true and fiscal federalism.
“We use this medium to appeal to the National Assembly to increase the host communities funds in the Petroleum Industry Act from 3% to 10% in the proposed amendment to the Principal Act.
“The NASS should consider the yearnings of the oil bearing communities in the Niger Delta who bear the environmental degradation”.