The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the Finance Bill 2020, which is supposed to support implementation of the 2021 budget.
The approval was secured at its 24th virtual meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday, November 18.
Zainab Ahmed told the media at the end of the meeting that the approval would also engender incremental changes in the nation’s tax laws.
She said, the Finance Bill will be transmitted to the National Assembly for its consideration; and passage into law.
“Through this finance bill, what we are seeking to do is to make incremental changes; to tax laws relating to Customs and Excise; as well as other fiscal laws to support the implementation of the annual budget.
“When Mr. President presented the 2021 budget to the parliament he did direct that the 2020 Finance Bill will also follow to support the budget proposals.
“We are working on implementing current fiscal reforms in line with the Multi-Year Medium Term framework; and over time we hope that with this Finance Bill, that the fiscal space will be reformed on an incremental basis.
“So this Finance Bill for 2020 was developed as a result of a very large multi-stakeholder effort; under Fiscal Policy Reform Committee that has several ministries, departments and agencies as members; but also the private sector, experienced tax practitioners and academics.
“During the process, we received a lot of suggestions from different stakeholders; but we had to limit what we could take; because, we are by three principles – to adopt appropriate counter fiscal measures to manage the economic slowdown; incrementally reforming the fiscal incentive policies of the government; and ensuring closer coordination between the monetary trade as well as fiscal authorities,’’ she said.
According to Zainab Ahmed, her ministry is working on how to provide adequate macroeconomic strategies to attract investment; to be able to grow the economy on a sustainable basis.
She stated that some highlights of these provisions include: “amendments that we have had to make provide incremental changes to tax laws.”