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Bill to review taxes passes 2nd reading at House of Reps

A bill for an act to amend the Companies Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, Customs and the Excise Tariff Act on Wednesday passed second reading in the House of Representatives.

The bill which was transmitted from the Senate was presented by the Deputy Leader of the House, Rep. Peter Akpatason (APC-Edo) at the plenary.

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The bill also seeks to amend the Personal Income Tax Act, Capital Gains Tax Act, Stamp Duties Act and Petroleum Profit Tax Act.

Leading debate on the bill, Akpatason said the aim was to make tax provisions more responsive to reforms.

He said that it would allow for progressive taxation and ensure that everybody, no matter how highly placed paid.

The lawmaker said that it would align taxation in the country with global best practices and move the nation to the next level.

In his contribution, Rep. Nicholas Ossai (PDP-Delta), said that there were areas in the bill that affected the masses negatively.

Ossai said that the bill which will increase the Value Added Tax (VAT) from five per cent to seven per cent would add to the economic hardship of the people.

He said the masses had decided to travel by air as a result of the state of the roads and the insecurity on the highways.

Ossai added that additional taxation on flight and electricity would not be beneficial to the masses saying that they were not luxurious services.

The Deputy Speaker of the House, Rep. Ahmed Wase, said that the masses would be happier with the bill as it was.

He explained that the extra funds that would be generated would be used to finance the 2020 budget for the benefit of the masses.

Wase said that Small and Medium Enterprises would not be taxed until they grow to a certain stage.

He urged his colleagues to remain patriotic and support the bill to enable the government raise funds to finance the budget.

In his ruling, the Speaker of the House, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila forwarded the bill to the Committee on Finance for further legislative actions.(NAN)

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