The National Assembly has endorsed a request by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, to generate its revenue through the establishment of FCT Internal Revenue Service.
This was achieved when both the Senate and the House of Representatives adopted the harmonised report on the Bill seeking to establish FCT Internal Revenue Service and Management Board with the powers to collect, assess and account for revenues accruable to FCT.
The bill, which was sponsored by Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West), also provides the board with the power to sue and be sued, control and administer different taxes within FCT and also account for such taxes.
The bill equally stipulates that the board shall be headed by a chairman to be appointed by the FCT minister subject to the approval of the National Assembly. The board, the bill provides, shall consist of a deputy chairman, six representatives from different departments of FCT as well as six persons drawn from each of the six geo-political zones of the country who are knowledgeable in tax matters.
Speaking shortly after the passage of the bill by the Senate, Adeyemi said: “The economic situation in the country now has prevailed over political considerations. The population in Abuja now is different from what it was once projected which has now made this new law imperative.
“The population we have in Abuja now demands upgrading of the infrastructure because allocation from the national budget is not enough.
Aside Adeyemi, many other senators applauded the third reading of the bill, stressing that it was coming at the time the nation was facing serious economic challenges on account of declining price of oil in the international market.