Finance Bill: Tertiary Education Tax will worsen economic hardship – NECA
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has condemned some provisions of the financial bill, including the increased Tertiary Education Tax (TET) from 2.5 per cent to 3.0 per cent.
In a statement on Wednesday, NECA’s director-general, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, said the TET was increased without regard for the current economic crisis.
“This can be subject to abuse and further strangulation of the business community,“ noted the NECA boss.
According to him, businesses are already burdened with over 50 different taxes, levies and fees legally and illegally, including company income tax, stamp duties, petroleum profit tax, capital gains tax, value-added tax, personal income tax, withholding tax, and tertiary education tax, among others.
“Increasing the Tertiary Education Tax is another burden too much. Also, increasing the CIT rate for a gas-flaring company from the standard 30 per cent to 50 per cent is also worrisome, considering the fact these companies are already covered in the Petroleum Industry Act: this can be a recipe for further divestment,” Mr Oyerinde added.
The NECA chief also explained that the imposition of excise duty “at rates to be specified via presidential order on all services, including telecommunication services, is too broad and vague,” urging President Muhammadu Buhari to request the National Assembly to do the “needful by taking into cognisance the concerns of organised businesses and expunging all anti-business provisions in the bill.”
“It is absurd that the National Assembly will consider and pass the finance bill in an unusual manner,” said Mr Oyerinde. “It was surprising that the national assembly would pass such an important bill without the input and contributions of critical stakeholders.”