Nigeria: Introduction of new levy on imports

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Nigeria is to introduce a new import levy of 0.2 percent to assist the country in sustaining its subscription with the African Union AU.

Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed revealed this while briefing Journalists on an extended meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday.

“Council approved a rate of 0.2 percent as a new import levy on Cost, Insurance and Freight-CIF that will be charged on imports coming into Nigeria,” she said.

Ahmed however said the law does not apply to all kinds of imports, as there are exceptions.

“The exceptions include goods originating from outside the territory of member countries of the AU that are coming into Nigeria for consumption.  

“It also includes goods that are coming in for aid and also it includes goods that are originating from non-member countries but are imported through specific financing agreements that ask for such kind of exemptions.

“It also exempts goods that have been ordered and are under importation process before the scheme is announced into effect,” she explained.

The Finance Minister said the purpose of the news levy was to enable the African Union member countries to pay their subscriptions on a sustainable basis to the AU.

She further said the Council approved that for Nigeria, if there was any excess arising from the money accrued from the new levy it would be used to service Nigeria’s subscription with other international organisations.

“Knowing that what will accrue from this new levy will be more that what is required as subscription to the AU, the balance will be ring fenced and put in a special account and be used to finance our subscriptions in multi-lateral organisations such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and institutions like that and still if there is any excess form that, it will be used to fiancé the budget,” she said.

Single Window for Ports
The Minister also announced the introduction of a single window that would coordinate all the operations of government agencies that are involved in Port activities.

“The second approval was the setting up of the steering committee to be chaired by the Vice President for the design and implementation of a national single window. The national single window is a web portal that would be able to integrate all the government agencies that are operators that are implementers in the port business or trading in the port system.  

“The trading platform will enable better efficiency of port operations and we project that it will significantly increase government revenues,” she said.

Ahmed said the Council also approved an extension of a Central Bank of Nigeria intervention that would be used to support the power sector, specifically the generation arm of the sector.

He adds that based on a commitment that was signed with several guarantees to the Generation Companies (GenCos) to bridge a gap encountered with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET).

Lateefah Ibrahim

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