The House of Representatives, on Wednesday, passed through First Reading the newly proposed Finance Bill which seeks to amend relevant fiscal and other statutes in response to the fiscal policy reforms of the Federal Government.
The Executive bill seen exclusively by Tribune Online also seeks to amend the law relating to the public procurement, fiscal responsibility and corporate law in order to make further provisions in connection with the Federal Government financial management, public revenue; Capital Gains Tax Act, Companies Income Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, Customs and Excise Tariff, etc. (Consolidated) Act, Value Added Tax Act, Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, Nigeria Export Processing Zone Act, Oil and Gas Export Free Zone Act, Fiscal Responsibility Act, Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020, Public Procurement Act, respectively.
The bill further provides for the amendment of Section 11 of Companies Income Tax Act (CITA) which seeks exempt primary agricultural production from tax, “provided the moratorium is not less than twelve months and the rate of interest on the loan is not more than the base lending rate at the time the loan was granted, refinanced or otherwise restructured.”
It also provides that the tax payable by any insurance company for any year of assessment shall not be less than 0.5 per cent of the gross premium for non-life insurance business; 0.5% of the gross income for the life insurance business. Provided, however, that the applicable minimum tax under this section’ 16 shall be reduced to 0.25% for tax returns prepared and filed for any years of assessment falling due on any date between 1 January 2020 and 31 December 2021, inclusive.
The bill also seeks to amend Section 25 of CITA to grant tax relief on “Donations made by companies in cash or kind to any Fund set up by the Federal Government or any State Government, or to any agency designated by the Federal Government or to any similar Fund or purpose in consultation with any Ministry, Department or Agency of the Federal Government, in respect of any pandemic, ‘natural disaster or other exigencies shall be allowed as deductions as follows: the value of in-kind donations made to the Government and any designated agency shall be allowed as deductions; where companies have’ either procured or manufactured items for contribution, the cost of purchase, manufacture or supply of such in-kind contributions shall be allowed as deductions.
“Provided that requisite documentation’ evidencing the donation and the cost thereof are provided to the relevant tax authority and demonstrated to be wholly, reasonably, exclusively and necessarily incurred in relation to the procurement, manufacture or supply of the in-kind contributions.”
“Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (2) and (3) of this Section, amounts allowable for the deduction, in respect of subsection (8), in any year of assessment shall be limited to 25% of assessable profits after deduction of other allowable donations made by the company.
“Where, for any year of assessment, the allowable donations pursuant to subsection (8) are not utilised as a result of no assessable profits, so much of the allowable deductions that have not been deducted shall be carried to the following year of assessment or years of assessment, and they shall be allowed as deductions against the assessable profits; provided that no allowable donations shall be carried forward under this subsection for more than two years of assessment immediately succeeding the year of assessment for which the donations was first made.”
In the same vein, the House passed through First Reading, National Social Investment Programmes (Establishment) bill sponsored by the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and 10 others; FCT Statutory Appropriation bill, 2021; Prohibition of Secret Recruitment in Federal Civil Service Bill sponsored by Hon. Tajudeen Yusuf; Transition and Assumption of Office Bill, sponsored by Hon Kpam Sokpo; North East Development Commission Act (Amendment) Bill, sponsored by Hon. Khadija Bukar Ibrahim; Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administration Act (Amendment) Bill, sponsored by Hon. Ifeanyi Chudy Momah; National Emergency Management Agency (Establishment) Act (Amendment) Bill, sponsored by Hon. Henry Nwawuba and Immigration Act (Amendment) Bill, sponsored by Hon Armayau Abdulkadir.
Also during the plenary, the House called for urgent repair of the access road to Apapa, Kirikiri and the environs.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion of ‘Matter of Urgent Public Importance’ sponsored by Hon. Leke Abejide who gave the report of oversight function to the ports.
In his lead debate, Hon Abejide explained that the House Committee on Customs and Excise in their oversight visit discovered so many infrastructural challenges which urgently need to be attended to.
He observed that the traffic to the Apapa port was horrendous due to the cluster of heavyweight vehicles, was responsible for the untold hardship being experienced by commuters within the region.
Hon Abejide who stated that the bad access roads to the area sharply reduces the revenue that the port should be remitted to the national purse as investors are wary of the hardships faced by users of the port, therefore called on the operators of Apapa and Tincan Island ports to quickly switch from analogue to digital means of operations to save the time of investors and increase efficiency in service delivery.
While calling on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the repair of the access roads, Hon Abejide, tasked the management of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) to ensure ease of doing business within the ports and deal with the congestion at the ports.
To this end, the House mandated its Committee on Customs and Excise to ensure compliance.