Nigerian lawmakers probe lottery operators over alleged tax evasion
The House of Representatives yesterday ordered an investigation into the activities of the licensed lottery operators in the country from 2000 to date over alleged non-payment of taxes and fees.
The order was given after adopting a motion sponsored by Mr. Abdulrazak Sa’ad Namdas during plenary session presided over by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara. The lawmakers mandated the committee on governmental affairs to probe the allegation and turn in its report within six weeks for further legislative action.
Namdas claimed that out of the 21 licensed lottery operators in the country, not more than three had successfully paid their fees and other taxes to the Federal Government. He said the country had lost millions of naira in revenue due to the development.
He made reference to the allegation by the Acting Director General of the Nigerian Lottery Commission (NLC), Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila that since his assumption of office about four months ago, the operators had not been meeting their obligations.
Also yesterday, a Bill aimed at amending the Federal Character Commission (Establishment) Act to give married women the option of claiming indigeneship of either their husbands’ town or their fathers’ place scaled the second reading on the floor of the House.
Edward Pwajok (SAN), who sponsored the Bill, expressed concern over the plight of married women who have been subjected to psychological trauma due to the legal uncertainty of their indigenous identity. According to him, once a woman becomes married, she is left in quandary as to whether she is an indigene of her husband’s place of birth or that of her father.
The lawmaker argued that the extant law is discriminatory against women as men’s indigeneship is not subjected to dispute even if they marry many wives from different ethnic groups.
“Why then should it be different with women? It is conceded that our culture is patriarchal but democracy and civilization should give married women the option of either choosing the ethnic identity of their husband or that of father so that they do not lose the benefits in their career.”