The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to leave a legacy of unbearable tax burdens for Nigerians and investors in the country.
According to a statement signed by Dr. Muda Yusuf, Chief Executive Officer of the Centre, the warning was made as a reaction of the Centre to the recently passed Finance Bill 2022.
If assented to by the President, CPPE said the Bill would worsen Nigeria’s inflation and increase Corporate tax to almost 35 per cent, thus compound Nigeria’s many economic woes and exert far-reaching implications on businesses in Nigeria
The Finance Act 2022 includes the imposition of excise duties on all services with rates to be determined by presidential order and; Imposition of a 0.5% tax on all eligible imports from non-African countries to fund Nigeria’s obligations to international organizations, a Tertiary education Tax increases from 2.5% to 3% of company profits.
The CPPE stated that there are enough tax burdens on corporate bodies in Nigeria, hence the risk of imposition of another spell of doom for Nigerian businesses.
“Already 133 million citizens are in extreme poverty. These measures would further impoverish the citizens as they bear these additional taxes.
“We appeal to President Buhari not to leave a legacy of the unbearable tax burden for investors in the Nigerian economy. The torrent of taxes, levies, and fees is crippling businesses.
“We submit that the President should withhold consent on the 2022 Finance Bill until the National Assembly properly engages stakeholders as legislative protocols require,” it stated.
Hasty Bill Passage to Avoid Due Consultation
Meanwhile, CPPE also faulted the hasty passage of the Finance Act 2022 without due consultation by stakeholders in the private sector.
The National Assembly passed the Finance Act on 28th December, 2022 and transmitted it to Mr. Buhari for assent.
According to the Centre, it is curious and puzzling that the Senate gave just 24 hours’ notice for stakeholders to attend a public hearing on the bill.
It lamented that: “The public notice was published on 21st December 2022 for a public hearing scheduled for 22nd December 2022.
“There is no better expression of deliberate exclusion of stakeholders from this important legislative process.
“While the House of Representatives gave a more generous notice of about three weeks. But in a sudden and baffling twist of events, the House passed the bill before the date of the advertised public hearing which was 13th January 2023.”