FG calls for annual Finance Bill review to fund budget

Federal Government has called for the annual review of the Finance Bill to support it’s budget.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said every Appropriation Bill would be accompanied by Finance Bill under the Buhari’s administration.

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Ahmed said this would enable the government to stimulate and manage economic growth. She explained that specific economic challenges would be addressed with the Finance Bill going forward. She added that it would also lead to immediate policy reforms, as well as incentives for identified sectors of the economy in line with the overall fiscal objective of the government.

What to expect from the next Finance Bill: According to Ahmed, the next Finance Bill, which will accompany the 2021 budget, will come with more incentives like the 2019 Finance Bill. She said the tax incentives would boost investments in the capital market.

It will also initiate and implement policies that will enhance the growth of the market. She revealed this plan relating to during her visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). There, Ahmed assured that the bill would further make the capital market more attractive to investors because it is the growth engine of any economy.

The tax incentives come with a clause: Ahmed stated that the tax incentives for the capital market would only be available for investors that complied with capital market’s rules and regulations, invested and contributed to Nigeria’s economic growth, as well as contribute to employment opportunities.

“Going forward, we are committed to moving away from blunt and expensive fiscal incentives – like import duty waivers or lengthy tax holidays that reward investors merely for their intention to invest.

“Rather, we will design, and implement targeted and more efficient fiscal incentives that reward investors after they have kept their promises to invest, create jobs, deepen our capital markets, and abide by applicable rules and regulations,” Ahmed said.

Ease of doing business: She said the Nigerian government was making efforts to improve ease of doing business in Nigeria. Ahmed added that the target now is to ensure Nigeria move into the top 100 on the 2020 World Bank’s Doing Business Rankings.

It is our expectation that this enabling business environment will spur the industry, innovation, and investment that our people, world over, are renowned for and accelerate our industrialisation in the light manufacturing, agro-processing, petrochemicals and construction sectors, which seek capital for investment from the NSE.”

Meanwhile, she called for government and private support to unlock the latent potential of Nigerians and other natural endowments through fiscal, trade and monetary policies, as well as developmental programs and projects, in line with the developmental aspirations under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and successor economic plans.

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