Members of the House of Representatives have announced that the Finance Bill would be passed in December.
The Details: This was made public by Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon. James Faleke at an inaugural meeting amongst members of the committee in Abuja yesterday.
The Finance Bill is targeted at boosting Nigeria’s revenue generation, however, Faleke expressed his displeasure at the non-implementation of budgets over the years.
He made a promise that the committees would do better work by directing revenue generating agencies of government to remit monies into the federation account in order to achieve their goals.
Highlighting the importance of the bill, he believed a swift passage of the bill would facilitate the needed revenue required to fund the 2020 budget.
“We have a Finance Bill which Mr. President read along with the budget and that Finance Bill will give legal backing to the increase in the VAT and all the exemptions. We expect to pass that Finance Bill as a Committee and the House will pass it along with the budget,” he said.
Further Developments: The House of Representatives also promised to tackle the issue of crude oil theft in the country, so that revenue derived from petroleum products is remitted to the right channels.
The chairman of the Ad hoc Committee on Crude oil Theft, Hon. Peter Akpatason, raised the issue at the inaugural meeting of the committee.
Lamenting the rise of oil theft in the country, he recounted the various steps taken by former President Olusegun Obasanjo to investigate the matter in 2001 which involved setting up a committee to that effect.
Akapatason who also serves as the Deputy Leader of the House, promised to kick off its investigation from the perspective of the 2001 report and unravel those behind the act while placing modalities to end it.
“Oil theft is a very serious problem that is as old as the oil industry itself. Oil theft has assumed a very alarming rate in recent times.
“As far as back as 2001, the Federal Government set up a committee which noted a major threat to Nigeria oil industry arises from the activities of a cartel or mafia which comprises highly and powerful placed individuals running a network of agents to steal crude oil and finished petroleum products from pipelines in Nigeria and could be possibly enjoying the patronage of some retired or top serving military or security personnel, political allies of government who benefit from the illicit oil business and have persistently frustrated efforts by the international community to assist Nigeria in fighting the menace.
“This is a very serious allegation by the committee set up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and we are going to take up this investigation from that perspective to look at who are actually responsible and how we can stop this criminality and ensure that revenue derivable from the oil and gas sector is exactly what we ought be getting what in this country, nothing short of that,” he said.