Saturday 23rd September, 2017
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House proposes Bill to protect looters ready to invest in the country

House proposes Bill to protect looters ready to invest in the country

If the Bill being proposed by the House of Represen­tatives is eventually passed into law, public officers, past and present, who fraudulently looted the nation’s treasury, would be granted amnesty if they voluntarily declare their loots and invest same in the economy.

The Bill being proposed will provide legal framework for amnesty for Nigerians with il­legally acquired wealth, who are willing to voluntarily de­clare and invest the fund.

The Bill which has been in­troduced on the floor of the House before the lawmakers went on Sallah break, would provide for the “establish­ment of the Voluntary Taxable income Recovery and Amnes­ty scheme,” was sponsored by Hon Linus Okorie.

The Bill, which is expected to go for second reading, im­mediately the House resumes from its Sallah break, accord­ing to Okorie, would by this development mean that the nation’s anti-corruption drive would be prosecuted on a new paradigm.

According to the proposed legislation, from the date of the commencement of the amnesty scheme, Nigerians with ill-gotten wealth, in­cluding looted funds stashed abroad, are expected to vol­untarily declare them before the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN).

The proposed Bill further states that after the declara­tion, 30 per cent of the de­clared sum will be paid as tax into the federation account for distribution to all the tiers of government in the country.

While a 25 per cent sur­charge on the tax shall be de­ployed towards agricultural and infrastructural develop­ments in the country,

the declarant, according to the Bill, shall compulsorily invest the fund in any sector of his or her choice in the na­tion’s economy.

When all the conditions have been satisfied, the de­clarants shall be granted a comprehensive amnesty from all otherwise repercusions un­der the Nigerian law, while the declarations shall also be in­admissible in evidence except in matters relating to national security.

Under the proposed law, the economic amnesty scheme, would run for three years, from the date of commence­ment.

Explaining further on the Bill at the weekend, Hon. Okorie described it as a prac­tical step in the fight against corruption in the country.

He added that the Economic Amnesty Scheme would ben­efit the country immensely, as the quantum of resources en­visaged to be declared and in­vested in the Nigeria economy will bring about massive eco­nomic growth within a short time.

The lawmaker said: “In ef­fect, our anti-corruption drive would then be prosecuted on a new paradigm and robust strategy supported by a na­tional consensus built upon a positive attitudinal shift.”

 

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