The House of Representatives Committee on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has bemoaned the multiple taxation levied on residents of the FCT discovered in the administration of the FCT authority.
The committee also noted that collection of tenement rates by the six area councils was illegal.
Chairman of the committee, Hon. Herman Hembe during an interaction with officials of the FCT noted that based on a memorandum of understanding entered between the area councils and FCTA, the Federal Capital Territory Inland Revenue Service (FCTIRS) was supposed to collect all taxes in Abuja.
According to Hembe; based on the provisions of the law, the area councils could delegate the FCTIRS to collect taxes on their behalf, which was what they did in the MoU, adding that for them to collect the taxes after the arrangement amounted to double taxation.
“Any body collecting any form of tax in the FCT is doing so illegally based on the law. The body that is supposed to do that is the FCTIRS. Our intention here is to find out why AMAC and the rest are collecting the money when there is an Act mandating the FCTIRS to do that,” Hembe stated.
The committee consequently directed both the FCTA and the councils to put a stop to the collection of tenement rates in the territory.
Meanwhile a member of the committee and member representing AMAC/Bwari federal constituency, Hon. Zaphania Jisalo raised a constitutional point of order informing the committee that based on the provisions of the constitution, the committee could not entertain the matter.
Jisalo who was chairman of the AMAC noted the the six area councils approached the court on the matter and obtained an order on the matter.
But Chairman, Hembe insisted that the committee must continue with the session.
“It appears Jisalo is here do disrupt this committee’s sitting,” Hembe said.
The committee, after the closed-door, announced that on the basis of the fact that the FCTIRS secretary said she did not read the MoU and most of the lawmakers did not have full details, the meeting would be postponed to a later date.
He also announced that the committee agreed that all those collecting tenement rates in the FCT should stop until the matter was resolved by the committee. He apologized for the rowdiness that led to the closed-door session.