The Kwara House of Assembly on Thursday summoned the Chairman of Kwara Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS), Dr Muritala Awodun, for clarification on the status of old version of local government certificate of origin.
The House issued the summon following the adoption of a motion titled “Contradictions Arising from Issuance of Certificate of Local Government Origin.”
The motion, which enjoyed the support of all members, was moved by Abdulrafiu Abdulrahman (APC, Ilorin North West Constituency).
The chief revenue collector of the state is expected to first appear before the House Committee on Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development.
Abdulrahman, in his submission, noted that there had been high rate of abuse of Kwara local governments certificate of origin by non-indigenes thereby limiting the chances of indigenes in accessing greater opportunities.
He added that KWIRS was given a cabinet responsibility to administer the certificate to prospective citizens at a bearable cost, and not only to increase revenue but also to checkmate the scam in the issuance of the certificates.
The legislator described the centralisation of the production of uniform certificate for all 16 local governments as a welcome development.
He expressed concern that KWIRS seemed to give the revenue generating aspect a greater premium than verifying the authenticity of the bearers of the certificates.
Abdulrahman condemned the current advocacy in the media and tertiary institutions on the need for people in the state with the old version of certificates to obtain new ones.
He noted that the revenue collection body seemed to be derailing from the main objectives of issuance and verification of the certificate of origin. Abdurahman particularly frowned at the action of KWIRS in writing to the authorities of University of Ilorin requesting them to demand for new state of origin certificate from the new and returning students.
While describing the act as a selective justice, he called on the House to wade into the matter.
Some of the members, who contributed to the debate, said the power of issuance and invalidity or otherwise of local government certificate of origin was vested on the local government councils.
They affirmed that the power arrogated to KWIRS did not belong to it, and called for caution.
The lawmakers particularly condemned the cancellation of admission of new students of the University of Ilorin as requested by the KWIRS.
They described the request as an action that was not in conformity with the present democratic dispensation.
Reading the resolution of the House, the Deputy Speaker, Mathew Okedare, directed KWIRS to, as a matter of urgency, suspend the announcement/advocacy in the media and tertiary institutions for new certificates.
The House also directed KWIRS to retrieve letters sent to the University of Ilorin and other institutions on presentation of new certificates of origin by new and returning students. (NAN)