DMO Suspends April FGN’s Savings Bond Offer

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* FG mulls reintroduction of 2012 corporate tax exemption order

Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja

The Debt Management Office (DMO) has announced the suspension of the FGN Savings Bond Offer for the month of April due to the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

The DMO, however assured that the suspension of the April 2020 offer will not affect coupon payments due to investors for already issued FGN securities, adding that arrangements have been made to ensure that all coupon payments for and redemption of FGN securities are made as and when due to investors’ designated accounts.

Indications have also emerged that the federal government may reintroduce the 2012 Corporate Tax (Exemption of Profits) Order granting job-creation tax rebates for employers as part of the proposed fiscal stimulus package to mitigate against the negative impact of COVID-19 scourge.

In suspending the April offer, the DMO cited the national broadcast on Sunday by President Muhammadu Buhari where he ordered restrictions of movement in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos and Ogun States.

‘As a result of this development, the Debt Management Office (DMO) wishes to inform the general public that the FGN Savings Bond Offer for the month of April 2020, which was scheduled for April 6 – 10, 2020 has been suspended,” the DMO said in a statement.

The debt management agency assured the general public that the offers will resume when the conditions normalise.

But, it stressed that the suspension of the April 2020 Offer will not affect coupon payments due to investors for already issued FGN securities as arrangements have been made to ensure that all coupon payments for and

redemptions of FGN securities are made as and when due to investors’ designated accounts.

Meanwhile, there are strong indications that the federal government may reintroduce the 2012 Corporate Tax (Exemption of Profits) Order granting job-creation tax rebates for employers as part of the proposed fiscal stimulus package to mitigate against the negative impact of COVID-19 scourge.

The Companies Income Tax (Exemption of Profits) Order, introduced by former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, commenced on April 27, 2012 for a period of five years.

It provided for an exemption from corporate income tax of five per cent of the assessable profits of any company with a minimum of 10 employees.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who gave an insight into the proposed fiscal stimulus package when she met with the leadership of the National Assembly recently, noted that prior to the advent of COVID-19 and oil price decline, the Nigerian economy was already fragile, vulnerable and deteriorating, citing the downgrades by three global rating agencies.

According to her Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, in her presentation to the National Assembly leadership, Ahmed, drawing attention to the Nigerian proposed integrated policy framework against the economic downturn, said: “the framework is to be complemented by a fiscal stimulus package to cushion the impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable individuals and communities, financed by concessional borrowings as well as fiscal policy reforms to rationalise tax expenditures, implement the Finance Act, 2019 and propose a Finance Bill, 2020 and other key economic-related laws to institutionalise the reforms.”