A bill that seeks to Amend the Finance Act, 2019, has passed first and second reading at the Senate.
The passage comes barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari wrote to the Senate, seeking the amendments to the Act, which was signed in January.
In the letter read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, one of the amendments sought by the president is that the new law for the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) from five per cent to 7.5 per cent will take effect from February 1.
He also asked that ‘Animal Feeds’ are included in the list of Basic Food Items that are exempt from VAT and aspects of the tax holiday incentive for agriculture, targeting this incentive to small and medium-sized companies that invest in primary crop, livestock, forestry and fish production.
This incentive, he said, is also to be administered by Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission pursuant to the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act.
Leading the debate for the second reading of the bill on Wednesday, the Senate leader, Abdullahi Yahaya, said the bill and amendments are straightforward and urged his colleagues to pass it.
But, the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, noted that details of the proposed amendments were missing.
He asked that the relevant details be provided so it can be deliberated upon.
Mr Lawan however, explained that the proposed amendments were clear enough from the president’s letter.
He, thereafter, put it to vote and the lawmakers unanimously voted to approve the second reading of the bill.
The bill was then referred to the Senate Committee on Finance for further legislative work.
The Senate passed the Finance Bill in November 2019 and was signed into law by the president on January 13.
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