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SENATE AND HOUSES PASSED FINANCE BILL PROPOSING INCREASE IN VAT AND OTHERS

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, and some lawmakers at the lower chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja on November 28, 2019. Photo: Twitter-@HouseNGR

The House of Representatives has passed the Finance Bill, 2019 submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Members present at Thursday’s plenary passed the bill one week after it scaled through the third reading and was passed on the floor of the Senate in Abuja.

The bill seeks to amend six tax provisions and make them more responsive to tax reform policies.

Apart from the worries expressed by a cross-section of Nigerians concerning the increase in Value Added Tax on specific goods and services from 5 per cent to 7.5 percent, the bill also amends the tax provision of the Customs and Excise Tariff Act to encourage local manufacturers.

It introduces tax incentives for investment in infrastructure, capital markets and supports small businesses.

The Finance Bill will reform the current tax regime by amending seven acts namely: Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Custom and Excise Tax Act, Company Income Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, Stamp Duties Tax Act, and Capital Gains Act.

Meanwhile, the House has urged the Nigeria Police to ensure that all policemen on highway patrol were properly dressed in uniforms with their vehicles properly numbered.

The lawmakers were worried that policemen on highway patrol do not wear any means of identification such as name tags, boots, and even berets.

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They noted that as a result of this, criminals take advantage to ambush unsuspecting Nigerians on the highways and rob them of their valuables.

The House, was, however, convinced that if policemen were properly kitted and their vehicles numbered, it would be easier for road users to clearly differentiate them from criminals on the nation’s highways.

Thereafter, the House Committee on Police Affairs was mandated to investigate why policemen on highway patrols were not properly kitted.

The lawmakers asked the committee to report back in four weeks.

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