The Nigerian House of Representatives during plenary on Tuesday passed ‘Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill’ that will see the Federal Government refund companies 50 per cent of income tax paid on employees’ salaries.
Although backed up by all the principal officers of the house, the bill will require the Senate’s support and the president’s assent before it can become law.
The bill attempts to shield Nigerians and companies as well as provide a cushion for companies registered under the Nigerian law against economic implications arising from the Coronavirus Disease outbreak.
According to the Speaker of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, the bill seeks to grant a rebate on Company Income Tax up to 50 per cent on Pay As You Earn. This is only for companies that still have employees on their payroll between March 1 and December 31.
His words, “This, we hope, will prevent large scale job losses in an already fragile economy and allow our people to carry on with their lives as best as possible in the event of a large-scale outbreak of the sort we have witnessed in other parts of the world.”
The speaker added that “the bill also seeks to suspend import duties on medical and safety items in these times.” This would become effective from March 1 to June 30.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, would be tasked to provide a list of the items covered in the waiver.
However, while this is a good step in the right direction, this may take a longer time to become effective, as the Senate has already adjourned for two weeks.