Economy

Finance Bill 2019: NECA critisizes Senate for not considering stakeholders’ submission

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), has expressed concern over failure of the Senate to consider stakeholders submissions before passage of the Finance Bill into Law.

Mr Timothy Olawale, the Director-General raised concern on Friday in a statement signed by NECA’s Project Officer, Mr Oluwaseun Amigun.

The Senate had on Nov. 21, passed the Finance Bill 2019, which increased Value Added Tax (VAT) from five per cent to 7.5 per cent and equally streamlined the nation’s tax regime.

The passage of the bill followed the presentation and consideration of the report of Sen. Solomon Adeola-led Senate Committee on Finance on the Finance Bill 2019.

“We received with shock the news that the Senate without painstakingly going through various memoranda submitted by stakeholders on the Finance Bill and following the due process of law making, passed the bill into law.

“Thereby, rubber-stamping the increase in VAT, Excise Duty and Stamp Duty among other anti-people provisions with the direct consequences being Nigerians having to pay more for goods and services.’’

The director-general said that the negative impact would include increase in prices leading to higher inflation.

He also said that it would lead to less disposable income for already poor households resulting in lower consumption and a decline in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate.

According to him, because input VAT on capital expenditure is not allowed as a credit in Nigeria, the cost of real investments will go up and more people will evade tax as compliant entities become less competitive.

He however, appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to insist that due process be followed in the passage of the bill before assenting.

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