By Bukola Olasanmi
The Nigerian Senate has passed the Finance Bill.
The bill which was sent to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari in October, seeks to increase the value-added tax (VAT) from five per cent to 7.5 per cent.
If signed into law, Nigerians will pay more for specific goods and services that attract VAT.
The bill will also reform the tax regime by amending several Acts, namely Petroleum Proflt Tax Act (PPT), Custom and Excise Tax Act, Company Income Tax Act (CITA), Personal Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax Act, Stamp Duties Tax Act, and Capital Gains Act.
The Finance Bill had on November 6 passed the second reading despite not being fully aware of its content.
No copies of the bill were shared to senators to allow for any meaningful contribution before it was debated and passed.
The Nigerian Senate held a public hearing on the bill on Tuesday. The public hearing was organised by the Senate Committee on Finance.
For the pubic hearing, relevant persons were invited to discuss their reservations and their recommendations about the bill. Details of the bill was also made available to those invited.
The bill was passed Thursday after lawmakers considered it clause-by-clause.
The Senate will now expect a concurrence by the House of Representatives before the legislation goes to the president for signing.