President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2020 Finance Bill into law thus giving legal backing to 50 per cent increase in VAT rate from 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent. This implies that Nigerians in the new year will pay higher price for goods and services that are affected by VAT. Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja According to the presidential aide, this is sequel to its passage by the National Assembly and subsequent forwarding by the legislature to the President for assent.
It will be recalled that President Buhari, while presenting the 2020 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly, had also presented the Finance Bill and said: “This Finance Bill has five strategic objectives, in terms of achieving incremental, but necessary, changes to our fiscal laws.
“These objectives are; promoting fiscal equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation; Reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices; Others are; Introducing tax incentives for investments in infrastructure and capital markets; Supporting Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses in line with our Ease of Doing Business Reforms; and Raising Revenues for Government.
“The draft Finance Bill proposes an increase of the VAT rate from five per cent to 7.5 per cent , as such, the 2020 Appropriation Bill is based on this new VAT rate,” he said. With the assent, according to Adesina, there would be more revenue to finance key government projects especially in the areas of health, education and critical infrastructure.