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Nigeria: Economic Laws Amended in Legislature

(Sept. 15, 2008) The House of Representatives, the lower house of Nigeria's National Assembly, has amended some financial and economic laws in an effort to stabilize the business environment. Among the laws passed are the Personal Income Tax Amendment Act; the Petroleum Profit Tax Act; the Customs, Excise Tariff, and Amendment Act; and the Companies Income Tax Amendment Act. According to Dimeji Bankole, Speaker of the House, the reforms are designed to make Nigeria a more appealing environment for investors by modernizing legislation as well as increasing transparency and reducing corruption. Speaking in Lagos on September 9, 2008, Bankole said that public hearings were being held to look into changing other out-of-date regulations, including the Companies and Allied Matters Act, so as “to align its provisions with contemporary local and global trends.” (Lower House Amends Economic Laws to Make Nigerian Economy 'More' Attractive, THE GUARDIAN ONLINE (Lagos), Sept. 9, 2008, Open Source Center No. AFP20080910565012.)

In addition to reforming the above-mentioned laws, the House intends to expand its oversight of a number of government agencies with economic roles, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, the Nigeria Export-Import Bank, the Corporate Affairs Commission, and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria. (Id.)