The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, an economic think tank, has expressed concern over the hasty passage of the 2022 Finance Bill by the National Assembly.
This was contained in a statement on Sunday by the CPPE’s director, Dr Muda Yusuf. It argued that there was practically no room for public hearings and engagement with stakeholders in consideration of the bill.
The statement reads in part, “The Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise is disturbed by the rushed passage of the 2022 Finance Bill by the National Assembly. It calls to question the representation role of the Assembly. There was practically no room for public hearing and engagement with stakeholders in the consideration of the bill. This is a piece of legislation which has profound implications for investment, citizens welfare and the Nigeria economy. It is curious and puzzling that the senate gave just 24 hours’ notice for stakeholders to attend a public hearing on the bill. The public notice was published on December 21, 2022 for a public hearing scheduled for December 22, 2022. There is no better expression of deliberate exclusion of stakeholders from this important legislative process. 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 January 13, 2023. The bill has since been forwarded to the President for assent. This haste is incomprehensible.”
The CPPE noted that it was regrettable that National Assembly hurriedly passed the bill without the benefit of input from citizens whom they were elected to represent.
It also noted that the bill would have major tax implications for investors and citizens, adding that it would effectively move corporate tax to almost 35 per cent, which is one of the highest globally.
The CPPE appealed to President Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) not to leave a legacy of an unbearable tax burden for investors in the Nigerian economy.