The lawmakers also urged finance ministry to order the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to ensure strict enforcement and compliance with the national tax policy and procedures in tax collection, in both public and private sectors.In a motion moved by Rep Friday Itula (PDP, Edo), the House noted that by so doing, tax administration and collection would become more effective reflective of the country’s economic growth.The lawmaker said: “By rebasing the economy, the tax revenue to the national economy (GDP), fell from 11.44 percent (pre-rebasing) to 6.04 percent (post-rebasing) in 2013, arising from government’s discriminatory and selective enforcement of tax laws, tax concessions and waivers.“The recent rebasing of the GDP suggests that there is still a lot to be done to increase revenue generation to attain the average threshold of about 18 percent for low-middle-income countries.”The rebasing of the country’s GDP, said the lawmaker, has led to a drop in the country’s debt-to-GDP ratio previously estimated at about 22.84 percent to 12.65 percent as at December, 2013.Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday passed a resolution summoning Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke and Shell Petroleum over what is called ‘discrepancies and lack of transparency’ in the dealings involving Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11.The House took the decision following a motion by Rep Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP, Abia) who prayed the House to uncover the reasons behind Shell’s exit from the said oil block and host communities after showing serious interest in the acquisition process.The affected communities are Gokana, Adoni, Opobo, Bonny and Tai Ogoni in Rivers State and Oyigbo, Asa Ukwa oil field in Abia State.The lawmaker argued that there were series of allegations of sharp practices bothering on insider trading by Shell in the divestment of OML 11 and prayed that the affected persons and institutions be invited to explain their roles. “OML as far as I’m concerned is a leasing agreement which is not forever. It is given and elapses at a given period of time. But what is happening now is not in tandem with our laws.“Based on crisis precipitated by Shell itself, it’s trying to leave those oil blocks having set youths of host communities against themselves. They did not adhere to best international practices, now the place is hot for them and they want to abandon it and go elsewhere,” he said. The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.
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