President Muhammadu Buhari, says in order to reduce the impact of inflation on Nigerians, his administration through the 2020 Finance Bill, is proposing the exemption of minimum wage earners, from the Personal Income Tax.
The President said coupled with other items in the proposed Bill, and various economic policies of the Federal Government, these incentives would ensure the resilience of the Nigerian economy to external shocks.
The President said this, in his speech delivered virtually by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, at the opening session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit Group Conference themed: “Building Partnerships for Resilience”.
According to the President, “we are proposing in the new Finance Act, that those who earn minimum wage, should be exempted from paying income tax.
“These provisions which complement the tax breaks given to small businesses last year, will not only further stimulate the economy, but are also a fulfilment of promises made, to take steps to help reduce the cost of transportation and the impact of inflation on ordinary Nigerians.”
While Explaining the role of the private sector in building a resilient economy, President Buhari said that “this government has always emphasized, that the private sector has a key role to play in our efforts to build a more resilient and competitive economy, as expressed in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“Private companies in design, construction, logistics and finance, are very much engaged in our infrastructural projects in power and rail, as well as road and bridges and the installation of broadband infrastructure, which is an essential requirement, if Nigeria is to participate actively and benefit from the 4th Industrial Revolution.”
The President explained that, the nation must diversify its economy away from dependence on crude oil exports, speed up human capital development and improve on infrastructure.
The President also gave insights to the collaboration between the CBN, the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Investment Authority, NSIA, and other stakeholders in the creation of an Infrastructure Company (Infraco) Fund, to address some of the nation’s critical infrastructure needs.
The Vice President while responding to the issue of import duties raised by some speakers at the summit, said the point of the reduction in levies on motor vehicles, commercial vehicles for transportation is to reduce the cost of transportation by reducing the cost of vehicles.
He noted that “with subsidy removal and the increase in fuel price and the pass-through to food prices, transportation costs had to be reduced.
The opening session of the summit featured presentations by speakers, including the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; Governor Aminu Bello Tambuwal of Sokoto State; Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, Ms Funke Opeke; and the Chief Executive Officer of GIG Group, Mr Chidi Ajaere; among others.