COVID-19: House of Reps passes Economic Stimulus Bill

As Nigerian economy groans under the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the House of Representatives has passed an Economic Stimulus Bill aimed at cushioning the effects of the disease on corporate businesses in Nigeria.

The bill entitled: The Emergency Economic Stimulus Bill, 2020 was co-sponsored by the House Speaker, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Ahmed Wade and the eight other principal officers of the House.

Subject to concurrent passage by the Senate, the bill was aimed at providing temporary tax exemptions to companies so as to protect jobs in the public and private sectors of the nation’s economy.


Based on its urgency and importance, the Lawmakers suspended their rules so as to allow the draft law to be introduced for first reading, debated under second reading and passed through third reading, after the consideration of the report by the Committee of the Whole in the House.

Aside from protecting the jobs of Nigerians, the bill also seeks to provide a moratorium on mortgage obligations to individuals during a period of general economic uncertainty.

Not only that, the bill is also targeted at eliminating unnecessary fiscal bottlenecks associated with the importation of medical equipment, medicines and other medical requirements needed to curtail the spread of CoVID-19, so as to ensure a speedy economic recovery.

The bill, which also seeks to engender a new regime of corporate tax rebates to encourage companies to maintain their payroll status for the immediate term, is expected to be transmitted to the Senate for concurrent passage, after which it would be forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari for his assent, before it becomes a law.

African finance ministers had last week canvassed for $100billion stimulus package for African states to jump-start their economies in view of the impact of COVID-19 on the economies.

The ministers who rose from a virtual conference to exchange views on the efforts by their respective countries in dealing with the pandemic, called for the waiver of all interest rates estimated at $44 billion for 2020, stressing that such waivers would provide immediate fiscal and liquidity windows to the governments in tackling COVID-19.


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