The Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, Monday, disclosed that the new Finance Act 2019 has the leeway of revamping the comatose $2.77 billion asset management industry in the country among other benefits.
The Chief Executive Officer, NSE Oscar Onyema stated this at a symposium on the Finance Act 2019, in Lagos, saying that since 2014, the Exchange alongside the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as other capital market stakeholders have been at the forefront of advocacy with policy makers and tax authorities for favourable tax structures for primary and secondary market activities in the Nigerian Capital Market.
Stating the benefits he said: “ This includes tax incentives for public companies and capital market investors, removal of double taxation in Collective Investment Schemes, CIS and Real Estate Investment Trust Scheme, REITs as well as manufactured dividend in securities lending to mention a few.”
The NSE boss stressed that the elimination of double taxation in Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) including Real Estate Investment Structures as pronounced by the Act is expected to have a significant impact on the growth of the currently nascent $2.77billion asset management industry in Nigeria.
According to him : “We have convened committees and conferences to dimension the real estate industry and the necessary policy changes required to jumpstart financing into the sector, and so this positive policy announcement is a good start towards increasing the viability of REITs for issuers and investors. With the nation’s housing deficit put at 17 million units as estimated by the African Development Bank, I believe strongly that REITs and other real estate investment vehicles will play a critical role in funding real estate and infrastructure development in Nigeria.”
Onyema noted that the Finance Bill which was signed to law by the President on January 13, 2020, introduced changes to the Value Added Tax Act, Petroleum Profits Tax Act, Companies Income Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Capital Gains Tax Act, Customs and Excise Tariff Etc. (Consolidation) Act and Stamp Duties Act.
He said: “The signing of the Finance Bill into law represents a landmark achievement for the Nigerian Capital Market.”
Furthermore, the pronouncement in the Finance Act which exempts micro and small enterprises with an annual turnover of N25 million ($70,000) or less from paying company income tax aligns with the Exchange’s commitment to SMEs as recently demonstrated with the launch of our growth board segment dedicated to fast growing companies seeking to raise public capital. SMEs and growth companies in our ecosystem can now enjoy tax benefits thereby improving their operational efficiency.”