The House of Representatives on Thursday advised the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, to stop payment of indiscriminate taxes and tenement rate within the territory forthwith.
This follows the adoption of a motion moved by Hon. Emmanuel Orker-Jev under the matter of urgent national importance.
The House urged the Minister of FCT, Mallam Mohammed Bello, to direct those engaged “in this arbitrary collection to desist forthwith or face the full weight of the law.”
It also mandated its committee on FCT to investigate the illegal activities and determine why the perpetrators have been having field day, saying, “investigate this activity and determine why this has been illegally going on with the aim of bringing perpetrators to book and report back to the House within two weeks.”
The House also mandated its committee to find out why the FCT Inland Revenue Service Board was yet to take off to date despite previous resolutions of the House.
While moving the motion, Hon. Orker-Jev, noted that certain individuals have, in various guises, engaged in forceful collection of taxes and tenement rates without the consent of the relevant authority.
The lawmaker said that the rates were being arbitrarily collected by individuals brandishing forged court documents and threatening to lock up premises of defaulters.
Hon. Orker-Jev expressed worry that “this act portends an affront to the FCT Inland Revenue Service Act and Tax Laws of the Federation and is aimed at defrauding the unsuspecting members of the public in these days of recession.”
The lawmaker explained that FCT Inland Revenue Service, the agency empowered by the law to collect taxes and rates in the capital territory has not been setup, thus allowing all manner of individuals or group to hit the streets of Abuja brandishing all manner of receipts and collecting all sorts of money from unsuspecting innocent, law abiding residents.
He further explained that the said taxes and tenement rates have been authorised by Acts of the National Assembly, that is, the taxes (approved list for collection) Act and the FCT Internal Revenue Services Act, 2015.