My attention has been drawn to the bill for a law to establish the Delta State Internal Revenue Service which is presently undergoing legislative consideration and process in the hallowed chambers of the Delta State House of Assembly. It has come to my notice that the executive bill wsd rushed through the 1st and 2nd readings yesterday being wednesday the 6th May, 2020 and adjourned to be passed into law on Tuesday next week, being the 12th of May, 2020.

I honestly fail to understand this unholy rush to pass into law one of the most important piece of legislations that the House of Assembly has considered in decades, and which affects all persons and companies resident in Delta State and without notices to Deltans who will materially pay the rates and taxes and affected by same.

We are all aware that the proper legal process and procedure after the 2nd reading of a bill in the House of Assembly, is for the bill to mandatorily go through public hearing during committee consideration before final passage into law.

The House of Assembly has conveniently forgotten this provision of the law, and has fixed the bill for consideration of committee report, and passage on Tuesday next week. This is an aberration, unlawful and most unwelcome.
We are aware too that this legislative consideration and passage into law of  the Public Procurement bill last week followed the template being re-enacted in the consideration of the Delta State Internal Revenue Service Law. In that case, there was also no public hearing, and the bill was simply passed into law all within 1 week. This is totally unacceptable.

Let me therefore urge the Hon. Speaker to reflect on the legal consequences of all these hurried and unlawful process to pass into law, a piece of legislation that is as imperative as the Delta State Internal Revenue Service Law. It is not difficult to understand that the imperative of holding a public hearing in this pandemic is incongruous with the convid-19 regulation of social and physical distancing of the Executive Governor of Delta State. The question therefore is, what is the urgency in passing the Procurement Law, and the the Delta State Internal Revenue Service Law now in the light of all the convid-19 restrictions?

I therefore urge the Speaker to initiate the mandatory public hearing process of the said immediately, and direct that all stakeholders be invited to the public hearing, if this legislative process cannot wait. The passage of the Delta State Internal Revenue Service bill into law must be all inclusive, advisory and participatory. Recently the Speaker of the House of Representatives had cause to halt the over-accelerated process of their consideration of the Bill on infectious diseases when he was faulted on this same ground; the Delta State House of Assembly is not expected to do less.

I hope that the House of Assembly will harken to this appeal. Long live Delta State.

Post a Comment