A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Obadiah Mailafia, says the Finance Bill (2019) recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari is likely to strangle businesses.
Mailafia who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday said as the nation’s economy gradually recovers, the new Act has the potential to kill businesses that are trying to survive.
“At a time of very slow recovery, it is risky to actually increase taxes. You are likely going to strangle businesses that are just struggling to survive,” he stated.
Rather than increase in taxes, the economist advised the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to “relax some of the taxes, provide incentives and widen the tax base by bringing people who are outside the tax base.”
Speaking further, he stated that if taxes are increased, it would dampen the country’s economic growth.
He however commended President Buhari for his assent, noting that the move is a welcome development that it is good for the country.
“It is very welcome in principle because normally when you pass a budget, there should be a package of fiscal measures that should accompany such a budget.
“That is the standard practice. In fact, it used to be the standard practice in Nigeria until during the fourth Republic we forgot about it. So I think it is welcome, it is very good,” he stated.