President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR

Finance Bill: Minimum wage earners for exemption from personal tax payment ─Buhari

*President Muhammadu Buhari says the private sector has a key role to play in our efforts at building a more resilient and competitive economy

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As a measure to stimulate the Nigerian economy and empower the citizens, the Federal Government has said the Minimum Wage earners will be exempted from Personal Income Tax (PIT) payment in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari, revealed this Monday, stated that the plan is one of the proposals in the 2020 Finance Bill pending before the National Assembly.

The President in a speech delivered virtually on his behalf by Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo, during at the opening of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) conference, said the measure would also help in stimulating the economy.

Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice-President, in a statement said the tax exemption alongside others in the bill, would ensure the resilience of the country’s economy.

Buhari was quoted to have said: “We are proposing in the new Finance Bill that those who earn minimum wage should be exempted from paying income tax.

“These provisions complement the tax breaks given to small businesses last year to not only further stimulate the economy, but are also a fulfillment of promises made to take steps to help reduce the cost of transportation and the impact of inflation on ordinary Nigerians.”

The President stated that his administration has always emphasised that “the private sector has a key role to play in our efforts to build a more resilient and competitive economy as expressed in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

“Private companies in design, construction, logistics and finance are very much engaged in our infrastructural projects in power and rail as well as road and bridges and the installation of broadband infrastructure which is an essential requirement if Nigeria is to participate actively and benefit from the 4th Industrial Revolution.”

The statement noted that “it is clear that we must diversify the economy away from dependence on crude oil exports, speed up human capital development and improvement on infrastructure. Above all, our economy must be made more resilient to exogenous shocks.

It is important for the private sector to play a key role as we work together to identify national priorities and try to influence our future national trajectory.”

Buhari also gave insights into the collaboration between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority (NSIA) and other stakeholders in the creation of an Infrastructure Company (Infraco) Fund to address some of the nation’s critical infrastructure needs.

“It goes without saying that partnerships remain essential to attract the resources for building a solid national infrastructural base.

“I am pleased to inform you in this regard that we are working actively with the CBN, NSIA and state governments under the auspices of the National Economic Council to design and put in place a N15 trillion Infraco Fund which will be independently managed,” said the President.

Buhari added: “Our national journey to economic prosperity is a long one, so we must all certainly work together.

“As we saw, partnerships were essential when we were faced with the serious challenge of combatting COVID-19.

“We saw the key role that partnerships played in our national effort to combat the COVID-19 crisis.

“While Federal and state governments worked together to manage the health response and ensure the establishment of isolation centres and availability of test kits, personal protective equipment, and medicines, the private sector also played an active role as individual entities, and also worked together in groups like the Coalition Against COVID-19.”

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