The minister gave an assurance that the bill will not lead to an increase in taxes because the situation in the country does not warrant an increase in taxes.
The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the 2020 Finance Bill for subsequent transmission to the National Assembly.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the council presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, briefed State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.
She said the 2020 Finance Bill was meant to support the 2021 fiscal year budget.
She however said through the bill, the Federal Government was seeking “to make incremental changes to tax laws relating to Customs and Excise as well as other fiscal laws to support the implementation of the annual budget.
She recalled that when Buhari presented the 2021 Appropriation Bill to the National assembly, he directed that the 2020 Finance Bill will also follow to support the budget proposals.
When asked how she would assure Nigerians that the bill will not further put a burden on them with an increase in taxes, the minister explained, “In the last Finance Bill 2019, we reduced taxes from 30 percent to 20 percent for enterprises that have a turnover of between N25m to N100m.
We also moved taxes from 30 percent to zero percent for enterprises that have a turnover of N25m and below, which means they pay no taxes.
“What we are doing in the Finance Bill 2020 is to further renew the education tax of two percent for that lower category of enterprises that have a turnover of N25m and below.
“So, when we say ‘incremental,’ it means gradually making changes; it means the changes may be up or down but for now, with the economic slowdown, our assessment is that this is the time to cut down on taxes, to not increase taxes at all and to not increase levies. This is the time that we need to do that and that is what we are trying to do.
“Another example is the reduction in the duties of vehicles that will be related to mass transit. Again, no increase in taxes and no increase in VAT.”