Evaluating the Impact of Nigeria Finance Act 2021 on Infrastructure Development

Introduction: Infrastructure development is a key driver of economic growth and prosperity for any nation. In Nigeria, the need for robust infrastructure has long been recognized as a critical factor in unlocking the country’s full economic potential. To address this imperative, the Nigerian government introduced the Finance Act 2021, incorporating provisions aimed at bolstering infrastructure development. As a leading accounting firm in Nigeria, we assess the impact of the Nigeria Finance Act 2021 on infrastructure development and its potential to reshape the nation’s economic landscape. 1. Infrastructure Tax Credits and Incentives: One of the significant measures within the Finance Act 2021 is the introduction of infrastructure tax credits and incentives. The Act provides tax incentives to companies engaged in eligible infrastructure projects. Companies involved in the construction, refurbishment, or maintenance of public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, airports, and power plants may be eligible for tax credits against their income tax liabilities. By incentivizing private sector investment in infrastructure, the Act aims to mobilize additional funding for critical projects. This could accelerate infrastructure development and enhance the quality of public services, ultimately fostering economic growth and improving the overall business environment in Nigeria. 2. Tax Exemption for Infrastructure Bonds: The Finance Act 2021 introduced tax exemptions on interest income earned from infrastructure bonds issued by state and local governments, as well as corporate entities. This move encourages individuals and institutional investors to channel their funds into infrastructure projects by investing in these bonds. The tax exemption on infrastructure bonds makes them a more attractive investment option, potentially increasing the pool of funds available for infrastructure development. This infusion of capital can address financing gaps in various projects, leading to improved infrastructure and greater economic opportunities for Nigerians. 3. Incentives for Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs): The Act extends tax incentives to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) that invest in infrastructure projects. REITs are investment vehicles that pool funds from multiple investors to invest in real estate projects. By extending tax incentives to REITs involved in infrastructure development, the Act encourages more investments in this sector. The potential growth of REITs in infrastructure development can enhance the availability of funding for projects such as affordable housing, logistics centers, and industrial parks. This, in turn, can significantly impact the quality of infrastructure and contribute to the overall economic development of the country. 4. Digital Economy Development and Infrastructure: The Finance Act 2021 also addresses the development of the digital economy, which is closely intertwined with infrastructure. The Act introduces measures to regulate digital services provided by non-resident companies, ensuring that they pay their fair share of taxes in Nigeria. The revenue generated from this taxation can be reinvested in the development of digital infrastructure, such as high-speed internet connectivity and e-government services. Improved digital infrastructure can drive innovation, boost productivity, and facilitate access to essential services, thereby promoting inclusive economic growth across the nation. Conclusion: The Nigeria Finance Act 2021 represents a significant step towards promoting infrastructure development in the country. By introducing tax credits, incentives for infrastructure bonds, and supporting investments through REITs, the Act encourages both public and private sector participation in vital projects. Additionally, the Act’s focus on digital economy development highlights the crucial role of digital infrastructure in Nigeria’s economic progress. As a leading accounting firm in Nigeria, we believe that the successful implementation of these measures can lead to tangible improvements in Nigeria’s infrastructure, positively impacting various sectors of the economy. However, effective monitoring, evaluation, and collaboration between the government, private sector, and other stakeholders will be crucial to maximizing the Act’s impact on infrastructure development and ensuring sustainable economic growth for Nigeria’s future. For professional advice on Accountancy, Transfer Pricing, Tax, Assurance, Outsourcing, Company Registration, and CAC matters, please contact Sunmola David & CO (Chartered Accountants & Tax Practitioners) at www.sunmoladavid.com. You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036