A group of federal lawmakers under the aegis of National Assembly Anti-Money Laundering and Cyber Security Coalition Wednesday tasked the newly inaugurated administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately remove fuel subsidy, which they described as the conduit pipe for corruption.
The coalition, led by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service, Senator Alloysius Etok, said in view of the expectations from Nigerians that the administration of Buhari would frontally tackle corruption, the administration must make the removal of fuel subsidy a priority.
While briefing journalists in the National Assembly, the group also advised the new administration to create corruption court to guarantee the speedy trials of corrupt government officials and tax evaders.
It also urged the Buhari government to overhaul expatriate quota policy, reposition “free trade zones by giving specific tenure not more than 10 years to enterprises to revert to a normal company as it is the case in Singapore, Malaysia and other countries of the world.”
The group which drew its membership from both the Senate and the House of Representatives said it had collaborated with anti-graft agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Corruption (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in the fight against corruption, noting that tax evasion constitutes danger to the economy.
According to Etok, Nigeria had lost whopping N2 trillion to tax evasion and cyber crimes as he argued that tax evasion is unhealthy for competition because some organisations in the process lose to corrupt competitors.
“As the chairman of this body, I am aware of the dangers that tax evasion and indiscriminate tax waivers present to our economy. It becomes obvious for the briefing of EFCC and ICPC on tax evasion and cybercrimes that Nigeria has lost over N2 trillion.
For all these reasons, fighting tax evasion is not just a choice, it is a necessity. It is now time for action – prosecution , investigation and recovery.
Investigations should not be delayed in court especially when it involves tax evasion and corruption.”
Meanwhile, the Senate has passed Sexual Offences Bill with the prescription of life imprisonment for sexual offences including rape, child sex tourism and deliberate infection of others with HIV/AIDS.
The bill was sponsored by the Chairman of the Committee on Navy, Senator Chris Anyanwu.
The bill also prescribes life imprisonment for gang rape, 10 years jail term for incest and child pornography or a fine of N2 million while those found culpable in other sexual offences will spend 14 years in jail.
While presenting a report on the bill before its passage, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Umaru Dahiru, said the bill sought to redefine and consolidate on existing laws on sexual offences.
Source: This Day