FG proposes bill to exempt minimum wage earners from income tax

By Bashir Bello

The Federal Government yesterday, said it has waived import duty and Value Added Tax, VAT, valued at about N1.3 trillion in addition to other incentives in nine years to 2019.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this during a one day sensitization seminar on automation of the Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) processes organized by the Ministry in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service 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 worth of waivers while in 2017 to 2019 it conceded N342 billion.

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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 are expanding; hence the need to have in place a 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.

“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 stated.

Earlier, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Retd) 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.

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