WE CANNOT BE MUSCLED -HOUSE AD-HOC COMMITTEE
We can recall that Hon Ahmad Abu from Niger state was commissioned to lead the Ad-hoc Committee on Telecommunications tasked with the responsibility to investigate tax evasion allegations and unsettled dues running into over 6.6 billion naira, but in the course of its investigative hearing, claims emerged from some music artiste who claimed that their Hit tracks are often used by Telco’s without commensurate payment reaching them for the use of their intellectual properties.
The ongoing logjam between the Committee and Telecommunication companies seems to be gathering more momentum with latest attempts to muscle the committee from doing its assignment.
The Adhoc committee’s travails have surfaced with several Public Hearing dates postponed without concrete reasons and seeming attempt to muscle the Chairman of the Ad-hoc committee, Hon Ahmad Abu using the leadership of the national assembly.
The House Ad-Hoc Committee is investigating allegations of Tax evasion but stumbled upon some disturbing claims from Recording artiste dominating the music scene who claim that they have been ripped off of money totaling over five billion naira.
There is Indications that the Telecommunication companies may be behind some of it travails after two failed attempts to bring together stakeholders in the Creative Industry and Telecommunication companies who have at one time pleaded for some time to get documents demanded by the committee in order to ascertain the veracity of claims made by the artistes, there are fears that the December 14 new date set for the meeting between all concerned parties may be postponed again. Initial meetings were postponed from November 30 to December 7 and on Thursday another postponement was granted to December 14, 2017.
The scenario is made more interesting with attempts by some persons to keep the activities of the committee quiet from Nigerians as the ‘Press’ has been prevented on two occasions from covering the ad-Hoc committee’s activities in the national Assembly.