National Assembly keeps VAT collection with states, Reps separate attorney-general from justice minister

Ahmed Lawan

The National Assembly on Tuesday rejected a proposal seeking to shift the collection of value added tax (VAT) from the concurrent to the exclusive legislative list.

Their decision now leaves the matter to be decided by the Supreme Court which is hearing it. The Federal Government had previously collected VAT.

A total of 95 senators registered to vote and 85 voted. While 41 voted in favour of VAT being collected exclusively by the Federal Government, 44 voted against it while no one abstained. In the end, the bill failed because it did not meet the minimum 73 votes.

In the House of Representatives, about 209 lawmakers voted to retain VAT on the concurrent list while 91 voted for it to be placed on the exclusive list.

Also, the House on Tuesday approved the appointment of a mayor for the FCT, with 245 members voting in favour of the bill. A total of 252 members voted in favour of the bill to provide for the appointment of a minister for the FCT.

It also voted in favour of the bill to establish the office of the attorney-general of the federation and of the state as separate from that of minister or commissioner for justice.

This is to make the office of the attorney-general independent and insulated from partisanship.

Meanwhile, 289 lawmakers voted in favour of the bill that would require the president and governors to submit the names of nominees for appointments as ministers or commissioners within 30 days of assuming office.