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Reps seek tax incentives for companies to invest in schools, healthcare

The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to provide tax incentives to companies through the Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit (RITC) scheme or…

The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to provide tax incentives to companies through the Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit (RITC) scheme or a similar one so that the companies can invest in education and health infrastructure in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion on matters of urgent public importance at the plenary on Thursday.

The motion was sponsored by Naolim Nnaji and co-sponsored by Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, Chinda Kingsley, Igariwey Iduma, Sada Soli, Boma Goodhead, Laori Bitrus, Jonathan Gaza and Kabiru Alhassan Rurum.

Presenting the motion, Nnaji recalled that on January 25, 2019, former President Muhammadu Buhari, signed the Presidential Executive Order for Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment investment Tax Credit (RITC) scheme.

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He informed that the RITC scheme is a form of tax incentive granted to Nigerian companies that engage in the construction and refurbishment of roads designated by the Federal Government as eligible road infrastructure projects.

According to the lawmakers, the main objective of the scheme is to sensitize and promote private sector funding for road infrastructure projects in a manner that will generate value for money and guarantee a participant’s timely and full recovery of funds provided for the construction or repair.

He added, “In 2021, the then Federal inland Revenue Service Coordinating Director, Tax Operations Group, Femi Oluwaniyi, urged other corporate bodies across the country to join NLNG, MTN and others, to take advantage of government’s tax credit facility and certificate for providing road infrastructures”.

The lawmakers noted that the burden of bridging the infrastructure gap was too heavy for the Federal Government to bear alone due to the global economic challenges, with public schools and hospitals being at the verge of collapse due to poor infrastructural funding and development.

The further noted that, “Provision of good schools and hospitals are the bedrock of societal development and economic growth, leading to reduction in unemployment, social vices, moral decadence, drug abuse, youth restiveness, mortality rate, spread of diseases and unhealthy environment.

“The current economic instability is impeding on government’s intervention or adequate funding of our public schools and hospitals, which is cancerous to societal development and may be the fundamental causes of insecurity, medical tourism, school degradation and incessant migration abroad”.

The lawmakers observed that it behooves on government to replicate similar tax waivers and incentives granted to those companies engaged in RITC (road infrastructure) to more private companies for partnership in bridging the infrastructural gap in public schools and hospitals.

They added, “When the private companies embark on such infrastructural development of public schools and hospitals, it will boost their corporate image, especially in economically disadvantaged areas and will possibly reduce corporate income tax payable in a year of assessment where it has unutilized tax credit”.

The House adopted the motion and urged the Federal Government to consider granting tax incentives to more companies for engagement in the infrastructural development of Public Schools and Hospitals under similar RITC Scheme, which can mitigate the fiscal responsibility of government and increase its revenue.

It further urged Ministers of Finance, Education and Health as well as FIRSto activate the bureaucratic processes for the successful implementation of this tax incentives by outlining measures and rules of engagement with stakeholders input and thriving mode of operation.

The House mandated its committees on Finance, Education, Healthcare Services, Health Institutions and Legislative Compliance to ensure compliance and report back to the House within three weeks for further legislative actions.

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