By Henry Umoru
President Muhammadu Buhari has written the Senate, seeking the consideration and subsequent passage of the 2021 Finance bill that will guide the implementation of the 2022 appropriation.
In a letter addressed to the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, and read Tuesday during plenary, President Buhari said that the bill when passed will help support the 2022 budget of Economic growth and sustainability that is presently before the National Assembly, awaiting passage.
The request by the President seeking the passage of the bill into law was contained in a letter dated December 7, 2021, which accompanied the bill.
According to the President, the Bill will also help to carry out some radical reforms in the finances of the government.
While the cover letter was titled ‘Transmission of the Finance Bill 2020 to the National Assembly for Consideration and Passage into Law in Support of the 2021 Budget,’ the bill proposes various amendments to existing tax laws and financial regulations in response to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and the current recession.
Buhari in the letter explained that the request for the passage of the bill was made pursuant to the provisions of Sections 58 and 59 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
According to him, the Finance Bill, 2021, seeks to support the implementation of the 2022 Federal Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability by proposing key reforms to specific taxation, customs, excise, fiscal and other relevant laws.
President Buhari noted that the bill provides for enhanced Domestic Revenue Mobilization efforts to increase tax and non-tax revenues; and ensure Tax Administration and Legislative Drafting Reforms, particularly to support the ongoing automation reforms by the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
He stressed that upon passage, the bill would accelerate International Tax Reforms to enhance the taxation of non-resident individuals and companies that nevertheless derive profit from Nigeria; and implement Financial Sector Reforms to support ongoing capital market reforms relating to Securities Lending Transactions, Real Estate Investment Trusts, Init Trust Schemes and the recapitalization of Insurance Companies.
The President in the letter noted that the Finance bill would also prioritize Critical Public Financial Management Reforms regarding the FIRS’ vital role in coordinating tax administration as well as the enforcement of key fiscal rules under the 1999 Constitution, Finance (Control and Management) Act and other relevant laws.
The President’s letter read, “Pursuant to Sections 58 and 59 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), | formally request that the Finance Bill, 2021 be considered by the Senate for passage into law.
“The Finance Bill, 2021 seeks to support the implementation of the 2022 Federal Budget of Economic Growth and Sustainability by Proposing key reforms to specific taxation, customs, excise, fiscal and other relevant laws.
“Specifically, this Bill provides for enhance domestic revenue mobilisation efforts to increase tax and non-tax revenues, Tax Administration and Legislative Drafting Reforms, particularly to support the ongoing automation reforms by the Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS’) “