Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, has stated that the implementation of the recently assented Finance Act, 2019, will be announced in due course.
The minister made this known in a statement issued by Yunusa Abdullahi, her media adviser, on Tuesday.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday signed the 2019 Finance Bill into law, three months after he submitted the bill to the National Assembly alongside the 2020 Executive Budget Proposals and 2020 Appropriation Bill.
Ahmed commended the President for signing the bill into law and for ensuring that “the strategic objectives in the finance Act recognise the crucial relationship between fiscal policy, the regulatory environment and the strong capital market we all seek to effect in Nigeria.
“We planned that, going forward, the annual budget will always be accompanied by finance bills to enable the realisation of revenue projections. Future finance bills will therefore also provide us with additional opportunities to incrementally improve the fiscal policy and regulatory/legal environment in order to further strengthen our domestic capital market, and ultimately ensure sustained and inclusive growth and development,” the statement read.
On the implementation process of the Act, Ahmed “said that she will issue a statement in due course”, the statement noted.
The 2019 Finance Act is a peoples law considering the expansion of VAT exemption list which includes: basic food items (agro and aqua-based staple foods) such as additives, cereals, cooking oils, culinary herbs, fish of all kinds (other than ornamented), flour and starch, fruits, live or raw meat and poultry, milk, nuts, pulses, roots, salt, vegetables, and water; Locally manufactured sanitary towels, tuition (primary, secondary and tertiary education); and services rendered by Microfinance Banks.
Some of the proposals contained in the finance Act include Amendment of excess dividend tax rules that result in double taxation and discourage investments; Review of commencement and cessation business rules that also lead to double taxation; An incentive of two per cent bonus for early tax payment by medium-sized companies and one per cent for large companies; An increase in the VAT rate; Moderation of inefficient and ineffective tax incentives; and closing loopholes in the existing tax laws that allow tax avoidance resulting in tax revenue leakages.