The Federal Government is proposing the imposition of new taxes on petroleum products, non-alcoholic beverages and telecommunications service providers as it moves to increase its revenue-generating capacity to fund the 2021 Appropriation Act.
They want the return of a N1.50 levy on each litre of petroleum product brought into the country and the taxing of non-alcoholic beverages like alcoholic drinks and tobacco.
This disclosure was made by the Controller General of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.), while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Customs to defend its 2020 Budgetary performance and 2021 proposal.
According to a report from Punch, Ali, who led top officials of the Customs before the committee, made written and oral submissions with the lawmakers also grilling him for about 3 hours.
What the Controller-General of the Nigerian Customs Service is saying
The Customs boss told the lawmakers that as part of strategies to improve revenue generation in 2021 based on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, the service introduced the e-Customs, which will make its operations electronic and automated.
He said, “Proportionally, it is the service’s expectation that, as a result of this reform, we will increase the revenue base of the government.’’
The Customs boss also said that the service recommended and the government approved downward tariff review of the current 35% levy on new and luxury imported vehicles to 5%, in addition to the downward review of commercial vehicles from 35% to 10%.
He said, “This is to encourage massive importation of vehicles into Nigeria and further increase the revenue base of the government; also, and most importantly, to reduce smuggling of vehicles through our borders. The complaint has always been that the tariff is too high and, therefore, people are forced to go through the borders to smuggle their vehicles.
“Based on that and now that we have succeeded in reducing these duties, it is our belief that most of the vehicles coming into Nigeria will come through the ports and by so doing, it will create jobs, increase earnings for not only the Customs but also other operatives in the marine sector. So, it is a win-win situation as far as we are concerned.”
Ali stated that a levy would now be reintroduced on petroleum products, in addition to the recommendation to the introduction of taxes on telecommunications service providers on the recharge cards they produce, while carbonated drinks would also become taxable soon.
He said, “One of the reasons for us to tax carbonated drinks is that, if we tax alcoholic beverages and tobacco because they are injurious to our health, carbonated drinks, with the content of sugar, are equally injurious to our health.
“Most of the diabetes cases we see today are as a result of consumption of these drinks. So, it is deadly; as deadly as tobacco. Alcohol is less deadly than them. But we are still running a zero excise duty on these companies.”
Why this means
- The proposal of the Nigerian Customs Service of the introduction of new taxes is coming at a time the Federal Government had declared tax reliefs for businesses and individuals due to the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
- However, the government is looking for ways to improve its revenue-generating capacity to be able to fund the 2021 Budget.
- This will ultimately increase the burden for Nigerians as these businesses are expected to pass the cost of their services and products on to them.
Lagos State seeks investors in aquatic and livestock agriculture value chain
The Commissioner revealed that the scheme was in line with the State’s five-year strategic agriculture roadmap.
The Lagos State Government announced it is seeking private sector collaboration for Agriculture sector value chain development in livestock feed mills, fisheries and red meat.
This was disclosed by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.
The Commissioner revealed that the scheme was in line with the State’s five-year strategic agriculture roadmap, as the State identified the 3 main sectors for value chain disruption.
She also added that investment in the sectors would also develop jobs for the industry and boost the State’s GDP growth, through Private Sector collaboration as Lagos residents consume over N5 trillion worth of food annually.
“The objective is to stimulate and encourage more public-private partnerships in the three value chains,” she said.
“When you consider this pool of transactions happening in Lagos, it shows that we are the market. For instance, we demand over 400,000 metric tons of fish on an annual basis.
“But our fishermen and our aquaculture farmers are only able to produce just about 174,000 metric tons with deficit of 200,000 metric tons,” she added.
She also disclosed that the state has 9,000 artisanal fishermen, and bringing more youths into the space will increase the level of fish and seafood being harnessed from our water bodies. Looking at the transactional value on an annual basis, the fisheries sector is worth well over N120billion according to her.
In case you missed it: Nigeria exported agricultural products worth N321.5 billion in 2020, representing a 19.16% increase when compared to N269.8 billion recorded in 2019 and a 6.27% increase compared to N302.28 billion recorded in 2018.
#DigitalSkillsTraining: FG announces conclusion of selection process
Only successful applicants that are contacted by the Ministry are to report at the training venue.
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports disclosed that the selection process for the upcoming Digital Skills Training has been concluded for the #DigitalSkillsTraining from April 11th to 30th, 2021.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Ministry of Youth and Sport on Sunday evening.
“The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development wishes to inform the general public and all Nigerian Youths that the selection process has been concluded for successful applicants for the #DigitalSkillsTraining scheduled for April 11 to 30, 2021,” the statement said.
The Ministry added that only successful applicants that were contacted by the Ministry are to report at the training venue. Those who were not successful but arrive at the training would not be admitted.
“Upcoming #DigitalSkillsTraining Programmes of the Ministry will be widely publicized on youthandsport.gov.ng , on : noya.ng and on the Ministry’s social media handles,” the statement added.
What you should know
Recall that Nairametrics reported in November 2020, that the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development announced it will scale up its digital skills training to cover 500,000 youths across the country after securing funding under the COVID-19 stimulus budget.
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