The Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, an economic think tank, has raised concerns about the rushed approval of the Finance Bill 2022 by the National Assembly.

This was contained in a statement on Sunday by the director of the CPPE, Dr. Muda Yusuf.

He argued that there was virtually no room for public hearings and stakeholder engagement in the bill’s consideration.

The statement read in part: “The Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprise is concerned about the hasty passage of the Finance Bill 2022 by the National Assembly. Calls to question the role of representation of the Assembly. There was virtually no space for public hearing and stakeholder participation in the consideration of the bill.

“This is a law that has profound implications for investment, the well-being of citizens and the Nigerian economy. It is curious and perplexing that the Senate gave only 24 hours’ notice for interested parties 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 turn of events, the House passed the bill before the announced public hearing date, which was January 13, 2023. The bill has since been sent to the president for his approval. This rush is incomprehensible.”

The CPPE noted that it was unfortunate that the National Assembly hastily passed the bill without the benefit of input from the citizens they were elected to represent.

He also noted that the bill would have significant tax implications for investors and citizens, adding that it would effectively move corporate tax to nearly 35 percent, which is one of the highest globally.

The CPPE called on the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (ret.), not to leave a legacy of an unbearable tax burden on investors in the Nigerian economy.

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