The Federal Government on Wednesday approved the Finance Bill 2020 with a view to supporting smooth implementation of the 2021 budget.
The Federal Executive Council gave appeovaa to the bill at its 24th virtual meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, told newsmen that the Bill will be transmitted to the National Assembly for its consideration and passage into law.
She said: “Through this finance bill, what we are seeking to do is to make incremental changes to tax laws relating to Customs and Excise as well as other fiscal laws to support the implementation of annual budget.
“When Mr President presented the 2021 budget to the parliament he did direct that the 2020 Finance Bill will also follow to support the budget proposals.
“We are working on implementing current fiscal reforms in line with the Multi-Year Medium Term framework and over time we hope that with this Finance Bill, that the fiscal space will be reformed on an incremental basis.
“So this Finance Bill for 2020 was developed as a result of a very large multi-stakeholder effort under Fiscal Policy Reform Committee that has several ministries, departments and agencies as members but also the private sector, experienced tax practitioners and academics.
“During the process, we received a lot of suggestions from different stakeholders but we had to limit what we could take because, we are by three principles – to adopt appropriate counter fiscal measures to manage the economic slowdown, incrementally reforming the fiscal incentive policies of government and ensuring closer coordination between the monetary trade as well as fiscal authorities,’’ she said.
The Minister said they are initiating macro-economic policies that will attract massive investmens to grow the economy on a sustainable basis.
“In producing this bill, what we were inadvertently doing was amending provisions in 13 different taxes which include the Capital Gains Tax Act; Companies Income Tax Act (CITA); Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act (IIDITRA); Personal Income Tax Act (PITA); Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act; Customs & Excise Tariff (Consolidation) Act; Value Added Tax Act (VATA); Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act; the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Public Procurement Act.