VAT bill passes second reading in Ogun

…as assembly convenes public hearing

A legislative bill on value-added tax (VAT) Law, 2021 in Ogun State on Tuesday scaled first and second readings on the floor of the state House of Assembly.

The House has also announced that the public hearing on the bill to hold on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

The lawmakers unanimously agreed that the bill, when operational, would accord the state its rightful position as a viable federating unit among the comity of states, empower it to collect VAT independently of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and Federal Government.

The lawmakers took turns to argue and support the bill titled “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 deliberations on the VAT bill came to the fore shortly after the motion for the second reading was moved by the majority leader, Yusuf Sheriff, and seconded by Ganiyu Oyedeji. The motion was supported by the whole House through a voice vote at a plenary presided over by the speaker, Olakunle Oluomo.

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Contributing to the debate, Olakunle Sobukanla, Ganiyu Oyedeji, Adegoke Adeyanju and Abdul Bashir Oladunjoye, noted the need for “the enactment of the proposed law in Ogun as a federating unit to further improve revenue accruable to the state. They believe improved revenue to the state would ensure seamless funding of developmental projects.

The lawmakers lamented that the state often gets a lesser share of what it contributes under VAT to the Federal Government.

In their submissions, other members- Kemi Oduwole, Oludaisi Elemide, Solomon Osho and Olusola Adams argued that the bill would improve the state’s financial status, pointing out that VAT collection was presently not listed in the exclusive legislative list.

On their part, Atinuke Bello, Sylvester Abiodun, Musefiu Lamidi and Yusuf Sheriff called for the speedy passage of the proposed bill, adding that it was a pointer to the fiscal restructuring, which has remained an issue of national discourse.

Responding, the speaker, Oluomo commended lawmakers for their contributions to the bill and declared 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. They said the passage of the VAT law would aid fiscal federalism.

He, thereafter, committed the bill to the House committee on finance and appropriation for further legislative actions.

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