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Only states can legislate on hotel business regulation (2)

On his part ADEOLA IPAYE Esq., (Hon. Attorney-General) representing the Defendant referred to the Counter Affidavit and written Address of the Defendant which he adopted as his argument in the case. Learned Attorney-General has faulted the contention of the Plaintiff that the Federal Government has exclusive legislative power over tourism and that regulation of hotels, motels, restaurants, and such other hospitality ventures, is incidental or supplementary to control of tourism.

He submitted that a detailed examination of the entire Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has revealed that the power of National Assembly over tourist related matters is limited to regulation of “tourist traffic” as provided in item 60(d) of the Second Schedule Part 1 of the Exclusive Legislative List and this gives the Federal Government Power to regulate “tourist traffic”.

It is submitted that the contention of the Plaintiff as stated early, is to import into the 1999 Constitution what is not intended by the drafters of the Constitution. He has noted, although, the expression ‘tourist traffic’ is nowhere defined in the 1999 Constitution, the resort made by the Plaintiff to the definition as contained in the Republic of Ireland’s Tourist Traffic Act of 1939 is misleading and not helpful and totally irrelevant, as the Constitutions of the two countries are dissimilar in every material respect.

It is further explained that whilst the Republic of Ireland practices Unitary System of Government; where there is no delimitation of power between the Federal Government and component states; on the other hand, Nigeria as a Federal Republic, there is division of legislative power. Reliance was placed on the case of OGUGU v. THE STATE 9NWLR (pt.366) 1 at 43, particularly on the admonition of this court as regards “borrowing” of definition or interpretation from other countries which have no constitutional provision similar or “resembling our own”.

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