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COVID-19: World Bank approves $90 million for States in Nigeria to implement tax relief



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The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning have midwifed an initiative between the World Bank and the 36 States in Nigeria for a tax relief grant of $90 million.

In a statement by the head, Public Affairs of the Nigerian governors’ Forum Secretariat, on Sunday in Abuja noted that the World Bank has earmarked $2. 5 million grant for each States of the federation to implement a tax compliance relief programme for taxpayers and businesses by September 31.

Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo who signed the Forum’s statement explained that the development was an outcome of a virtual meeting held on Friday under the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results.

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The meeting was attended by Commissioners of Finance and heads of their internal revenues from the 36 States of the Federation with about 125 participants.

According to Bello-Barkindo, the incentive would stimulate the success of the various tax relief programmes being introduced by state governments as part of measures to mitigate the unending toll of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses and ensure speedy recovery of states’ economies.

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“These efforts are being incentivised by a new Disbursement Linked Indicator (DLI) under the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) World Bank $750 million States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Results.

Eligible states will be rewarded with $2.5 million each in performance-based grants if they announce by 31st July 2020 and implement by ‪30th September 2020 a tax compliance relief programme for individual taxpayers and businesses to mitigate the COVID-19 impact.

“However, there are criteria to be met if a State is to receive the $2.5m. These are that State announcements should be signed by the Commissioner of Finance or the Executive Chairman of the State Internal Revenue Service and published on State websites and in national dailies to ensure widespread awareness amongst taxpayers.

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“Furthermore, the state government should issue to their tax officials and collecting agents, guidelines for the implementation of the reliefs to ensure consistent execution by all and sundry.”

Abdulrasaque stated that tax relief programmes of State will mitigate the unending hardship occassioned by COVID-19 pandemic on peoples businesses


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