Double Taxation Avoidance Bill passes second reading at House of Reps
The quest by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to improve the ease of doing business in Nigeria and diversify the nation’s economy on Wednesday received a boost.
This followed the passage of “a Bill for an Act to Provide for the Domestication and Enforcement in Nigeria of the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Spain and for other related matters” for second reading in the House of Representatives.
The effort orchestrated by the executive and sponsored by Majority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, also includes another bill of same subject matter entered into with the Republic of South Korea.
Gbajabiamila while leading the debate on the general principles of the bills urged the House to expedite action on its passage into law as it seeks to cure the ills of double taxation which has militated against rapid inflow of foreign investment into the country.
Hon. Yaqub Abiodun Balogun (APC, Lagos), chairman, House Committee on Agreements and Treaties, in his argument expressed the significance of the bills, saying that they are key to the improvement of the nation’s revenue base outside oil.
He said: “Nigerian president doesn’t need to travel to any country to attract investment into the economy. There are certain parameters if put in place will naturally influence the destination preference of foreign investors to Nigeria. One of such is this avoidance of double taxation treaties signed with the Republic of Spain and South Korea.
“So, I urge my colleagues to support the bill to go for second reading as a matter of urgency”, he said.
The bills were passed and referred to the Committee on International Agreements and Treaties for further legislative inputs.
Meanwhile, the presidency has commended the House of Reps for passing the two executive bills, saying that the act is a demonstration of the House support for the Federal Government in its effort to reposition the nation’s economy.
In a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Reps), Hon. Sulaiman Abdulrahman Kawu, the presidency said: “We wish to thank the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Yakubu Dogara for passing two of our bills today, June 15, 2016.
“This singular action has shown that the House is solidly behind the executive on its numerous policies aimed at making Nigeria better. We hope you will also pass our other bills that are currently before the House with the same zeal that you passed these two”, the statement read.
The statement added that it is the president’s belief that the action will guarantee a robust and cordial relationship between the executive and the House in the next three years.