DTHA MAJORITY LEADER EXPLAINS WHY PUBLIC HEARING ON DELTA INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE BILL WAS NOT ALLOWED

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Delta State House of Assembly has restated its commitment to the enactment of laws that will stand the test of time.


The Majority Leader and Chairman, House Committee on Information, Honourable Tim Owhefere, gave the assurance while briefing Assembly Correspondents on the significance of the State Revenue and the Appreciation Amendment Bills recently passed by the House, to the good governance of the state.


Owhefere said the challenges of good governance required a robust synergy and collaboration of relevant stakeholders.


He stated that the internal revenue service bill was in line with global best practices, saying that all it was intended to create a more effective system of taxation in the state.


The Majority Leader noted that there were lacunas in the existing revenue law enacted in 2009, pointing out that the proposed law had created an Internal Revenue Service, IRS, aimed at enhancing the process of tax and other revenue collections in the state.


Owhefere disclosed that the rates and charges were the same, noting that the problem had been the process of collection which the new law would address.


The lawmaker maintained that the bill went through the usual legislative process, including first and second readings, before being committed to a Joint Committee of the House for scrutiny.


He said during the Joint Committee meetings, members interfaced with some revenue experts and other relevant stakeholders, including ministries and agencies of government, saying that their suggestions and submissions formed part of the recommendations of the committee.


On why there was no Public Hearing on the Delta State Internal Revenue Service Bill, Owhefere said besides the fact that the bill was not entirely new, the challenges of the Covid 19 pandemic could not have allowed for public hearing.               

On the Appreciation Law Amendment Bill, the Majority Leader said the executive needed to plan for key areas that would keep the state going, especially recurrent expenditure which provided for salaries and welfare of the people.


He said law making was dynamic and subject to the dictates of the times, explaining that a supplementary budget could be rsised with an improvement in the finances of the state after the COVID – 19 challenge.


In his contribution, the Deputy Majority Leader, Honourable Oboro Preyor, said the amended budget was in line with the economic realities on ground, adding that the state had to realign and adjust the budget to be able to cope with the  challenges of good governance.


Preyor expressed optimism that the new State Revenue Law would address the issue of tax evasion as funds were needed to drive the amended 2020 budget.                  it will be recalled that the Delta State House of Assembly Wednesday passed the two money bills.

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