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Finance Act 2019 becomes law

President Muhammadu Buhari

Isola Moses

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari signed the country’s 2020 Finance Bill into law in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Monday, January 13.

Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President on Media and Publicity, in a statement, recalled that President Buhari, while presenting the 2020 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly (NASS) late 2019, made the presentation along with the Finance Bill.

Buhari, according to Mr. Adesina, had told the National Assembly that the 2020 Budget which comprised five objectives, was also made up of the draft Finance Bill.

The draft Finance Bill, according to the statement, consisted of 7.5 per cent increase in Value-Added Tax (VAT) rate from the hitherto five per cent rate.

He recalled the president’s remarks as: “This Finance Bill has five strategic objectives, in terms of achieving incremental, but necessary, changes to our fiscal laws.

“These objectives are: Promoting fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; Reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices; and Introducing tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets.”

Others are “Supporting Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses in line with our Ease of Doing Business Reforms; and Raising Revenues for Government.

“The draft Finance Bill proposes an increase of the VAT rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent, as such, the 2020 Appropriation Bill is based on this new VAT rate,” he disclosed.

With the President’s assent to the bill, he added, there would be more revenue to finance key government projects, especially in sectors such as health, education and critical infrastructure.

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