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Buhari sends Finance Bill to National Assembly for approval

President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched the Finance Bill 2020 to the National Assembly for review and legislative assent.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives read the president’s letter to the two parliamentary arms on Tuesday at the opening of plenary.

The Finance Bill 2020 seeks modification to current tax framework as well as financial regulations in view of the weighty effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the new recession on the Nigerian economy.

“Pursuant to Sections 58 and 59 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I formally request that the Finance Bill be considered by the Senate/House of Representatives for passage into law,” Buhari said in the letter.

Read also: NEWLY SIGNED FINANCE BILL: Winners, losers and projections for the Nigerian economy

“The Finance Bill, 2020, seeks to support the implementation of the 2021 budget by proposing key reforms to specific taxation, customs, excise, fiscal and other laws. Specifically, this bill’s provisions:

“Adopt appropriate counter-cyclical fiscal policies to respond to the economic and revenue challenges precipitated by the decline in international oil prices, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.”

The Finance Bill equally intends to tweak current fiscal policies towards playing up expansion in the economy, employment creation, local revenue generation and socio-economic advancement while enhancing better administration of monetary and trade strategies.

It also plans “fiscal relief for taxpayers by reducing the applicable minimum tax rate for two consecutive years of assessment, as well as reforming the commencement and cessation rules for small businesses,” Buhari said.

He expressed optimism that the legislation would find the approval of the legislature in order to aid the execution of the 2021 budget.

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