By Tordue Salem
ABUJA — THE House of Representatives on Tuesday, passed for concurrence by the Senate, an Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill, 2020.
The Bill was introduced by the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and fast-tracked to Third Reading, to provide a stimulus for the Nigerian economy and roll back the depleting effect of the corona virus.
The bill entitled, The Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill, 2020, aims at providing temporary tax exemptions to companies and to protect jobs in the civil service and the public sector.
It also aims at protecting the employment status of Nigerians, who might otherwise become unemployed as a consequence of management decision to retrench personnel in response to the prevailing economic realities.
Because of the importance the House attached to the Bill, the lawmakers suspended their rules to allow the draft law to be introduced for first reading, debated under second reading and passed through third reading after the consideration of the report at the committee of whole. Co-sponsors of the Bill, are the Deputy Speaker Mr Ahmed Wade and the eight other principal officers of the House.
The bill also provides for a moratorium on mortgage obligations for individuals at a time of widespread economic uncertainty.
Also, the bill seeks to eliminate additional fiscal bottleneck on the importation of medical equipment, medicines, personal protection equipment and other such medical necessities as may be required for the treatment and management of Covid-19 disease in Nigeria.
It will equally carter for the general financial well-being of Nigerians pending the eradication of the pandemic and a return to economic stability.
The Bill, will provide a new regime of corporate tax rebates to encourage companies in the country to maintain their payroll status for the immediate term. With its passage through third reading, the Bill is expected to be transmitted to the Senate for concurrence after which it would be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for assent.