Court strips finance minister of tax law amendment power
Justice Ayokunle Faji of a Federal High Court, Lagos has stripped the Minister of Finance of power to amend the Taxes and Levies (Approved List for Collection) Act 2004.
Delivering judgment in a suit filed by the Registered Trustees of Hotel Owners and Managers Association and marked FHC/UCS/1082/19, against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the minister, the judge held that “any purported amendment to the Act by the minister is null, void and unconstitutional.”
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Stating that it is only the National Assembly that could amend laws, Justice Faji reiterated that the minister lacked the constitutional power, legislative competence to amend an Act of the National Assembly or any part thereof.
The Federal Government, had through the then Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on May 26, 2015, amended the schedule to the law following pressure to harmonize taxes and levies payable in Nigeria.