FG granted N1.024trn waivers in four years

With a total of N1.024 trillion in waivers granted to public and private organisations and individuals between 2011 and 2015, the Federal Government says it will launch electronic Import Duty Exemption Certificate Registration (IDECNREG) within the first quarter of 2010.

A one-day intensive stakeholders’ forum for the Automation of Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) and Vehicle Number Identification (VREG) Processes in Abuja at the weekend, Permanent Secretary (Special Duties), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Muhammed Dikwa said the ministry “on an annual basis receives upwards of 600,000 different requests ranging from import duty waivers on imports from different Government Agencies, Private Sector, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO)’s through its Fiscal Policy measure of granting waivers.”

Despite these huge figures he frowned, it was still not clear what benefits have accrued to the government in return in terms of jobs created, additional tax revenues paid by beneficiaries and another impact on the economy.

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“The process of applying for and processing of waivers, determining the eligibility of applicants, validating previously granted waivers, reporting utilization of waivers are currently all manual.

“This results in a lack of transparency and lengthy bureaucratic process that could take upwards of usually between 60 – 180 days thereby exposing the process to subjectivity and abuse.”

He explained that as a result of the automation process, the ministry had reduced the processing time from an average of 60 days to about 3-5 working days for granting waivers.

“The second component of this project, which is the Vehicle Identification Number Registration (VREG), seeks to provide a national repository of all VINs in the country including the ones coming in through our national ports of entry.

“Vehicle importation accounts for about 30% of the total import duties alone representing a significant portion of our total import.

“A national VIN system provides a centralized registry that draws historical data from a global VIN repository to keep track of vehicles coming in and out of the country.

“The VIN registration process also serves as a check for all smuggled vehicles into the country as it provides a unified database for all vehicles independent of their point of entry and provides a basis for Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to effectively collect duties on smuggled vehicles.”

In addition to providing the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with guidance on all vehicle-related duties and levies, the VREG component will provide the Nation with a vehicular asset registry, which can be leveraged for the purpose of movable asset valuation, insurance, taxation, and correct assessments.

VREG, in addition, will also provide a single window to access VIN related information, which will be relevant to the VIO, Police, FRSC, insurance bodies, tax, and security agencies to enable visibility to curb incidences of theft, vehicle licensing information duplication, insurance fraud and comprehensive enforcement of vehicle duty payments independent of mode or point of entry into Nigeria.

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