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FG conceeds  N1.3trn as waivers for importers, others in 8 years


Abiola Seun   |

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National planning Hajiya Zainab Ahmed Shamsuna has said that the federal government has conceded N1.3 trillion to import duties, value added tax (VAT) waivers and other incentives for the past eight years.

The Minister disclosed this during a one-day sensitisation seminar on Automation of the Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) processes, organized by the Ministry in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service held in Kano.

The Minister, represented by the Kano State Commissioner of Finance, Shehu Na’allah, while giving the breakdown said within 2011 to 2015 ,it conceded N1.024 trillion while in 2017 to 2019, it conceded N342 billion to waivers.
According to her, “for the records, between 2011 to 2015, government conceded about N1.024 trillion through the grant of only four types of incentives namely: Import duty waivers/concessions/grants – N503.5 billion, VAT waivers/concessions/grants – N227.7 billion, pioneer status non-oil companies – N73.5 billion and pioneer status PPT on oil companies – N219.5 billion.

“Approximately N341.9 billion worth of waivers was granted from August 2017 to August 2019. The scope of such requests is expanding; hence the need to have in place modern technology to drive its administration.

“Up until March 2020, we processed the grant of the IDEC incentives manually. This process was quite cumbersome, tedious, time consuming and it was beset with undue human interface with its attendant challenges.
“Why automate the process? The automated IDEC portal will deliver (and it is already delivering the benefits among others, in line with the ministry’s strategic revenue growth initiatives (SRGI).

“The federal government, under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on promoting and sustaining transparency and efficiency in delivering services in the public sector domain and the organized private sector,” the minister however stated.

Earlier, the Comptroller -General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), represented by the Commandant, Customs Training School, Kano, Lawrence Banye said the automation will not only block revenue leakages with its attendant positive effects, but also promote trade efficiency, boost investors’ confidence, transparency and indeed ease of doing business.

“Interestingly, the just approved e-customs project that signals the beginning of end-to-end automation of Nigeria Customs Service processes and procedures will usher a new regime of total automation of all trans-border trade activities.
“Indeed, trade is being revolutionized through modernization and policies that create enabling environment for business to thrive,” the Comptroller General said.

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