FG, governors discuss proposed 2022 Finance Bill at NEC meeting

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The National Economic Council, NEC, has resolved to update the draft Finance Bill with additional inputs from state governors before the bill goes to the Federal Executive Council, FEC.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice-President, Mr Laolu Akande, stated this on Thursday in Abuja.

NEC, presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, received briefings on the proposed Finance Bill 2022 at an extraordinary virtual meeting.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, updated NEC on the main features of the bill.

According to the minister, the proposed bill is anchored on five fundamental policy drivers.

She listed the drivers as tax equity, climate change, job creation/ economic growth, tax incentives reform and revenue generation/tax administration.

Other aspects of the bill include chargeable assets; exclusion of losses and replacement of business assets.

She added that the bill sought to amend relevant taxes, excises and duty statutes in line with the macroeconomic policy reforms of the federal government.

Ahmed said the bill aimed also to amend and make further provisions in specific laws in connection with the public financial management of the federation.

Under tax equity pillar, all sectors of the economy will be brought into the tax net including capital gains, tax from digital assets, cable undertakings, lottery and gaming business.

On the climate change and green growth pillar of the bill, there will be incentives for the natural gas sector and discouragement of gas flaring.

Under the pillar of tax incentives reforms, there will be new deductions for research and development, and investment tax credits; reconstruction investment allowance, rural investment allowance, while incomes in convertible currencies will be exempt.

“Also the bill contains an amendment under chargeable assets.

“Subject to any exceptions provided by this Act, all forms of property shall be assets, whether situated in Nigeria or not, including options, debts, digital assets and incorporeal property generally,’’ she said.

The minister said bill clarified the taxation of crypto currency and other digital assets in line with government’s policy thrust of enhancing cross-border and international taxation of growing e-commerce with emerging markets.

She said that, by doing so, Nigeria would join the league of jurisdictions currently taxing digital assets, including the UK, the U.S., Australia, India, Kenya and South Africa.

The minister said that extensive consultations had been done on aspects of the bill such as tax avoidance and tax evasion by introducing a general anti-avoidance route.

She said that in coming up with the bill, the Ministry of Finance engaged a wide range of stakeholders and elicited enough feedback, especially through the work of a technical committee.

Ahmed said the technical committee was co-chaired by the Special Adviser on Economic Matters to the President, Dr Adeyemi Dipeolu, and Special Adviser on Finance, Mrs Sarah Alade.

Governors of Sokoto, Borno, Kaduna, Kebbi and Ogun states, among others, commented on the presentation of the bill.

It was  resolved that state governors should make additional inputs just as the proposed bill was being sent to FEC for consideration before the president would send it to the National Assembly.

At the meeting, newly sworn-in Osun governor, Sen. Ademola Adeleke, was also formally welcome to the Council by the vice-president and other members.

Source: NAN

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