Finance Bill 2021 on Wednesday, scaled second reading in Senate.

This followed a presentation of the lead debate by the Senate Leader, Mr  Yahaya Abdullahi at  plenary.

The bill was entitled: “A Bill for an Act to amend the relevant tax, excises and duty statutory in line with macro economic policy reforms of the Federal Government to amend and to make further provisions to specific laws in connection with public financial management of the Federation and for other matters connected therewith 2021”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill was transmitted by President Muhammadu Buhari to the senate and was read by Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan on the floor of the upper chamber on Tuesday.

The lead debate coming a day after the bill was transmitted to the senate, shows that  the consideration of the report was given accelerated hearing.

Leading the debate, Abdullahi said the bill was read for the first time on Wednesday, 8.

“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 enhanced domestic revenue mobilisation efforts to increase tax and non-tax revenues.

“The Nigerian economy grew by 2.28 per cent in Q3 2019 compared to 2.12 per cent in the previous period.

“The marginal improvement in the economy reflected growth in oil output, the services sector, mostly driven by activities in the telecommunications, agriculture and trade sectors.

“The strategic objectives of the bill includes promoting fiscal equity, reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices among others.”

Contributing, Chairman,  Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs,  Sen. Ajibola Basiru said the passage of the bill was very critical.

“It is critical because of the question of automation of the processes of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and ensuring that new financing transactions like recapitalisation of insurance companies are given necessary attention.

“It is also to ensure that we have an efficient public finance system so that we are able to address the deficit in our budget system.”

The bill was thereafter,  referred by the senate president  to the joint Committees on Finance, Customs, Excise and Tariffs and Trade and Investment to report back on Tuesday, Dec.14.

Lawan said: “this joint committee will report to the senate, they will lay and consider on Tuesday.

“This is necessary because we have to pass the Finance Act amendment before we pass the budget and it is our hope that we will be able to consider the 2022 Budget on Dec. 15..”(NAN)