The Senate has passed the Finance Bill 2020 at the National Assembly in Abuja.
The Senate on Tuesday passed the Finance Bill 2020, transmitted by President Muhammadu Buhari on Nov. 25 for consideration.
The bill, which has 77 clauses was passed following adoption of the report of Senate Joint Committee on Finance, Customs, Excise and Tariff, Trade and Investment and Public Procurement at the Committee of the Whole.
Chairman of the Joint Committee, Senator Solomon Adeola, (APC – Lagos), who represents Lagos West district, had moved that the Senate should receive and consider the report.
President Muhammadu Buhari had in a letter dated Nov. 25 transmitted the bill to the Senate, saying its passage would support the implementation of the 2021 budget. This, Buhari said would be achieved through strategic reforms on specific taxation, customs, excise, fiscal and other laws.
He said the reform was to adopt appropriate counter-cyclical fiscal policies to respond to the economic and revenue challenges caused by decline in international oil prices and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 Nigerian economy.
One of the objectives of the bill is to provide financial relief for taxpayers by reducing the applicable minimum tax rate for two consecutive years of assessment, as well as reforming the commencement and cessation rules for small businesses.
During Tuesday’s plenary, the Senate also adopted the recommendations of the Committee on Communications on the 2021 Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) budget proposal.
Senator Tinubu also presented the report of the Senate Committee on Communications on the 2021 Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) budget proposal.
The recommendations of the committee were thereafter adopted by the lawmakers.
The Senate also at plenary, approved N299 billion as 2021 Federal Capital Territory budget. It also passed for second reading, a bill for an act to establish the Nigerian Peace Corps (NPC) to empower and provide employment for youths and facilitate peace and community services. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Alli Ndume (APC- Borno). It also passed for second reading, a bill for an act to establish the Nigerian Hunters Council of Nigeria to provide for community policing and maintenance of law and order . The bill was sponsored by Sen. Biodun Olujimi (PDP -Ekiti).
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