Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content, Solomon Adeola has said that most expatriates in Nigeria do not pay tax.
Senator Adeola said this, according to his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro, at the closing ceremony of a two-day retreat/valedictory for members of the committee and management of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board(NCDMB) in Abuja, yesterday.
“Most expatriates in Nigeria do not pay taxes to either state or Federal Government. Foreign companies bring in like 200 expatriates and their record will show that only 50 are paying income tax. This cannot be allowed to continue.
“We have rampant unemployment with constituents out of job. Only about 10 percent of 200,000 yearly graduates from our institutions are getting job and the Local Cont Law is meant to address some of this unemployment crisis facing the nation.
“We must amend the laws to be applicable beyond the oil and gas industry; to embrace manufacturing, construction and ICT” he stated.
A member of the committee and former minority leader, Senator Godwin Akpabio, said the leadership of the senate has been justified in excising the Local Content Committee from the Petroleum Resources (Upstream) Committee and stressed that senator Adeola has done well for the Eighth senate, in driving the agenda of local content to public glare; in its short history of about two years.
“I enjoyed being a member of the committee as senator Adeola always carried all members along. In our meetings, you always have over 90 percent attendance by members who are equally chairmen of other committees. The reason for that is the drive of Adeola, his inspiration in how legislative oversight should be handled and more importantly, the urge to put Nigeria interest first which is the essence of Local Content” he stated.
On her part, Minority Leader, Senator Abiodun Olujimi said the retreat was novel and added that it would be a good recommendation for all other senate committees to carry out similar exercise, as a way of ensuring institutional memory is established for the incoming Ninth Senate.
“I want to commend senator Adeola for his sagacity in such a short time of chairing the committee and making it a force to be reckon with in the oil and gas industry. His plan of a smooth transition for the committee in the Eighth Senate to in incoming committee for the Ninth Senate is welcome and I will suggest that a broad stakeholders summit on Local Content to brainstorm on the challenges of implementing the law should be a priority for the next Senate,” she said.