The House of Representatives supported the finance bill which seeks legislation to support the implementation of the 2022 budget. PHILIP NYAM writes on the importation of the invoice

The House of Representatives held a one-day public hearing on the 2021 finance law on Monday. The event was hosted by the House finance committee chaired by the Hon. James Faleke (APC, Lagos). Although the House was favorably disposed to pass the bill, which is an executive bill, the presentation by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, left many Nigerians shivering. It should be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had transmitted to the House on December 2 the 2021 finance bill, requesting the rapid adoption by the legislator of the legislation to support the implementation of the draft budget N16.39 .

Anxious to ensure the effective execution of the budget, the Chamber quickly got to work and organized the public hearing to aggregate public opinion and the feelings of stakeholders on the bill. Position of the House Presenting the position of the House in his speech to declare the public hearing open, President Femi Gbajabiamila, said that the budget bill for 2021 seeks to introduce strategic, broad and positive reforms that will bring about best practices and will ensure the interest of the investing public. and businesses. Represented by the Minority Leader, the Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, Gbajabiamila, said the bill aims to legally control borrowing by local, state and federal governments, improve transparency and accountability in administration in various strata of tax and public revenue generation.

His words: “It is instructive to state that the essence of Bill 2021 is to further reposition our financial system to plug waste, close openings to corruption, create employment opportunities and boost stability and growth. in our productive sectors, within the broader context of our quest for economic recovery in our country.

“Given the democratic credentials of the House of Representatives under my leadership as well as the need to further deepen the credibility of the process through broader stakeholder participation, this stakeholder meeting was designed to empower Nigerians and a wide opportunity for critical industry stakeholders to take ownership and lead the process.

“We need to strengthen the institution to strategically control reckless borrowing by ensuring accountability in the use of borrowed funds and ensuring that borrowings are on concessional terms or at relatively low interest rates and subject to tax. stringency of legislation. “

In his speech, the chairman of the parliamentary finance committee, Faleke, noted that the budget bill aims to support the economy and the implementation of the 2022 budget. The position of the federal government One of the reasons given by the federal government for initiating the bill was the need for Nigeria to diversify its oil revenues to other sources to fund critical spending, starting in fiscal year 2022, according to the finance minister. , Budget and National Planning, which presented the government’s position.

The bill proposed key reforms to certain tax, customs, excise, tax and other relevant laws, specifically providing for increased domestic revenue mobilization efforts to increase tax and non-tax revenue and administrative reforms. tax and legislative drafting, in particular to support ongoing automation reforms. by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS). According to the minister, the retained earnings of the federal government amounted to 4,566 billion naira (75% of the budget) in September 2021; Federal share of oil revenues – 845 billion naira (56.3 percent prorated performance); 1 31 trillion naira (117.3% over budget) as the federal share of non-oil revenue; 616 billion naira and 274.4 billion naira (121 percent and 153 percent of pro-rated targets) from corporate income tax (CIT) and value added tax (VAT) and 418 billion naira of customs collections for the period under review.

She also alerted lawmakers to the possibility of introducing new tariffs and levies in 2022 as the economy continues to recover, saying modest changes have been proposed but further tax reforms are still in sight as the economy continues to recover. ministry could not take all the proposals gathered from stakeholders. The minister further said there were pending court cases against the federal government over value added tax (VAT) and stamp duty, which is why the ministry has stayed on the sidelines. of these areas. She expressed hope, however, that by mid-2022 the cases would have been removed and that reforms in these areas could be proposed to parliament for consideration.

“We have prepared this bill according to five reform areas, the first is domestic revenue mobilization, the second is tax administration and legislative drafting, the third is international taxation, the fourth is financial sector reforms. and tax fairness and the fifth is improving public financial management reform. “The provision of the bill proposes to amend the Law on Capital Gains Tax, Corporate Income Tax, Law on Establishment of FIRS, Personal Income Tax, Stamp Duty Law and Higher Education Law, Value Added Tax, Insurance Police Trust Fund and Tax Liability Law. .

“This is to amend the law on police trust funds and laws on Nigerian trust funds, the goal is to empower FIRS to collect levies on Nigerian trust funds from companies on behalf of the fund itself. -same. “Currently, in the absence of such a provision, FIRS is unable to start raising on behalf of the fund.

In addition, it is about streamlining the collection of taxes and levies from Nigerian companies in accordance with the ease of doing business policy of the President’s administration. “So we don’t have NASENI going to collect this tax, FIRS will collect on their behalf during their collection process and it will be passed on to them,” the minister said. FIRS Position While responding to a question from the Chairman of the House Finance Committee, Faleke, on how FIRS has put the finance bills into practice, the chairman of the department, Muhammad Nami, said that the total reimbursement granted to him on the account of the federation in the year is about N25 billion.

He said: “The challenge we face is that if the proposals we have made are not taken into account, FIRS will now face a situation where taxpayers will write to us asking for a refund and I think Currently, the total reimbursement granted to us from the federation account during the year is approximately N25 billion.

“So far, if you have a taxpayer who has already paid 25 billion naira in minimum tax, I am just giving one example and you have other taxpayers who are either wrongly or mistakenly , or who deliberately paid VAT to another account or tax owned in Kaduna state, for example in FIRS, where do you get the money to reimburse that person. “So it’s actually going to create some slight administrative problems for us if the proposals made have caught on and at the time there are legal implications because you don’t make a law we’re taking retroactive effect.” It remained to be seen how this bill, once passed, will impact the economy and the lives of Nigerians.


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