2020 finance bill gets special Senate action, passes 1st, 2nd reading – Newstrends
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2020 finance bill gets special Senate action, passes 1st, 2nd reading

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The 2020 finance bill seeking to reduce import levy on buses, tractors and other motor vehicles has passed first and second reading at the Senate.

The proposed law passed first and second reading on Wednesday after the senators gave it a special consideration.

A letter by President Muhammadu Buhari asking the National Assembly to pass the bill was only read on the floors of the House of Representatives and Senate on Tuesday.

Normally, when a bill is read for the first time, a day is fixed to debate the general principles of the legislation after which it will be passed for second reading.

But the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, on Wednesday said special consideration should be given to the bill because of its importance to the economy.

He said the legislation was seeking to “provide fiscal relief for taxpayers by reducing the applicable minimum tax rate for two consecutive years of assessment.”

The senate leader said the bill was also seeking to amend the procurement act to implement key procurement reforms previously proposed by the national assembly in 2019.

“The Capital Gains Tax Act is amended at section 36(2) of the CGTA to the extent that exemption on tax liability for compensation for loss of office which was hitherto limited to N10, 000.00 is now extended to N10, 000, 000.00,” he said.

“There is a new section 32 which provides that no tax shall apply to any trade or business transferred to a Nigerian company for the purposes of better organization of that trade or business.

“Section 4 of the Value Added Tax (VAT) act has been amended by increasing the value added tax payable by consumers from 5% to 7.5%. Section 19 increased the penalty payable by a taxable person for non-remittance within the specified period from 5% to 10%.

“Under section 28, the penalty for failure to give notice of change of address or permanent cessation of business was increased from N5,000 to N 50,000 in the first month and N25,000 in subsequent months.

“There is a new section 8 of the VAT Act to cater for the registration of a taxable person upon commencement of business.

“The penalty for failure to register has been increased from N10,000 to N50,000 in the first month and from N 5,000 to N 25, 000 in the subsequent months.”

Yahya also said the bill sought to boost the Small and Medium Enterprises by reducing their tax burden.

However, Ike Ekweremadu, senator representing Enugu west, was opposed to the bill being hurried.

“It is important that we put it to a public test and see what the Nigerian people will say. We must ensure that the people of Nigeria are carried along,” he said.

The bill passed second reading after it was put to a voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.

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Breaking: Nigeria’s inflation rises to 33.2%, says NBS

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Breaking: Nigeria’s inflation rises to 33.2%, says NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the nation’s inflation rate rose to 33.2 per cent for the month of March 2024.

This represents a 1.5 per cent increase over 32.7 per cent recorded in February 2024.

The NBS disclosed this in a new report released on Monday.

It explained that the rise was primarily due to higher costs of food, beverages, energy, and housing. Compared to February 2024, the inflation rate in March increased at a slower pace, with food inflation reaching 40.01% year-on-year.

NBS attributed the spike in food prices to the rising costs of items like garri, millet, yam tubers, and others. On a month-on-month basis, food inflation slightly decreased to 3.62% in March 2024.

Urban inflation also increased to 35.18% year-on-year in March 2024, while rural inflation stood at 31.45%.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile agricultural products and energy, was 25.90% year-on-year in March 2024.

Overall, the rising cost of living in Nigeria is evident in the significant increase in inflation rates across different categories.

It is crucial for policymakers to address these challenges to alleviate the financial burden on the population.

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Nigeria’s oil production drops by 2.8 million barrels in one month 

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Nigeria’s oil production drops by 2.8 million barrels in one month 

The Nigeria Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has confirmed the data released by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), indicating a consecutive decline in Nigeria’s oil production for the second month in a row.

According to NUPRC reports, crude drilling operations in March saw a notable decrease, with production dropping from 1.42 million barrels per day (bpd) in January to 1.23 million bpd in March, marking a significant loss of approximately 2.8 million barrels over the month.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, acknowledged the declining trend, attributing it to issues on the Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) and maintenance activities by oil companies in Nigeria during the period.

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However, beyond crude oil, condensate production, which typically falls outside OPEC’s quota calculation, also experienced a decline in March, further exacerbating Nigeria’s overall production slump.

Despite efforts to address the situation and restore production levels, challenges such as oil theft and dwindling investments continue to hinder Nigeria’s ability to meet its OPEC quota consistently.

The repercussions of Nigeria’s reduced production are compounded by surging global oil prices, fueled by escalating geopolitical tensions, notably the looming threat of conflict between Israel and Iran.

Nigeria’s oil production drops by 2.8 million barrels in one month

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Ore extols ex-NURTW President Yasin’s virtues at 68

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Ore extols ex-NURTW President Yasin’s virtues at 68

Acting President of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Alhaji Aliyu Issa Ore, has described the former president of the union, Alhaji Najeem Usman Yasin, as a trade unionist per excellence with worthy administrative experience.
He stated this in his goodwill message on the 68th birthday of Alhaji Yasin
Ore, a former chairman of the Kwara State council of the union, said the achievements he recorded while in Kwara were as a result of quality advice and guidance from Yasin.
Ore explained that Yasin’s tenure as president of the union witnessed tremendous development and growth of the NURTW.
“His tenure as president of the union recorded first-class growth.
“He took the union to the global stage. For the first time, our union became a strong member of International Transport Federation (ITF).
“Apart from getting international recognition, he also built zonal council offices for all the zones. Before he came in, our zonal councils usually operated from rented apartment but his administration acquired land and built befitting zonal offices for all our zonal councils.
“Again, Alhaji Yasin ensured that the national headquarters of the union assisted many state councils to build their own councils secretariat. Through his guidance, most state councils now operate from their own state councils.”
He recalled the peace enjoyed by members of the union under Yasin, saying this ensured that the body had perfect transition arrangements devoid of thuggery and shedding of blood.
“Before he came into office, our election or change of leadership was usually bloody. But he put a system in place that put an end to thuggery and other violence in the union,” he said.
Ore also said Yasin’s tenure boosted the education of members and workers by ensuring that the union secured partnership with National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) which enabled members to acquire university education.
“Members of staff also enjoyed opportunities to go for training and workshops to boost their knowledge,” Ore stated.
He prayed that Almighty Allah would continue to preserve him to witness more years in good health.

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