A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Obadiah Mailafia, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the nation’s Finance Bill (2019) into law.
Mailafia who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday said the move by the President is a welcome development, noting 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.
However, the former CBN boss noted he was concerned with the timing of the assent.
READ ALSO: Buhari Signs Finance Bill Into Law
“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 taxes, the economist advised the Buhari administration to “relax some of the taxes, provide incentives and widen the tax base by bringing people who are outside the tax base.”
His comments come 24 hours after the President signed the Finance Bill into law.
The law is aimed at reforming Nigeria’s tax system to align with global best practices and support MSMEs through the Ease of Doing Business initiative.
It also hopes to raise government revenues, as well as incentivize investments in infrastructure and capital markets.