FEC approves 2020 finance bill for transmission to the National Assembly

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The Federal Executive Council has approved a draft of the 2020 finance bill for onward transmission to the National Assembly for passage.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, announced this to State House Correspondents, at the end of the weekly cabinet meeting, presided over by President Muhamamdu Buhari.

She said the bill, which was presented in a memo presented by her ministry with support from the National Fiscal Policy Reform Committee, seeks to support the 2021 budget as well as make incremental changes to tax and other fiscal laws leading to a successful implementation of next year’s budget.

“You recall that we did a fiancé bill in 2019, through these finance bills, what we are seeking to do is to make incremental changes to tax laws relating to customs excise as well as other fiscal laws, to support the implementation of annual budgets.

“When the President presented the 2021 budget to the parliament, he did direct that the 2020 finance bill will also follow to support the budget proposals,” she said.

The Finance Minister highlighted that incremental changes referred to in the bill does not mean increasing taxes but an improvement in the tax law, stressing that the country’s value added tax remains at 7.5 percent.

Ahmed noted that government is already working on the implementation of current fiscal reforms in line with the multi-year Medium Term Framework, with the hope that the current fiscal bills will help achieve the dream.

She added that the 2020 finance bill was developed as a result of multi stakeholder effort, including the private sector.

“During the process we received a lot of suggestions from different stakeholders including several Ministries, Departments and Agencies, experienced tax practitioners and academics, we received a lot of suggestions from different stakeholders and we had to limit what we are able to take, because we were guided by three principles; we needed to adopt appropriate counter sinical measures to manage the economic slow-down; the principle of incrementally reforming the fiscal incentive policies of government and the third one is ensuring closer coordination between the monetary trade and the fiscal authorities,” she explained.

Ahmed listed some of the provisions of the 2020 finance bill to include how to have adequate macro-economic strategies, to attract investments that will grow the economy on a sustainable basis as well as create jobs and acceleration of domestic revenue among others.

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