Nigeria Custom Service

The Comptroller General of Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) has called on Federal Government to revisit excisable products with a view to re-admitting the delisted and new items under excise administration.

The Customs boss said this during the week while presenting a paper at the National Council on Finance and Economic Development held in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Ali said the 2009 fiscal policy which de-excise some products and industries as drastically affected the revenue generation from the excise duty.

According to him, the policy was then aimed at stimulating the economy against the backdrop of the global economic meltdown.

Preceding the 2009, the Comptroller-General said, excisable products included; Perfumes and other toilet waters, non-alcoholic beverages, fruit juice, soap and detergent, beer and stout, wines, spaghetti/noodles, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, cigarettes and tobacco, toilet papers, cleansing or facial tissues, amongst others.

Ali said the revenue generated between 2009 and 2016 put at N281.1 billion were only from two approved excisable products of alcoholic beverages and Tobacco/cigarette.

The Comptroller-General said seven years was enough period of tax relief for industries to stabilise, no matter the intention of the government at the time of the policy.

He said the government, in times of recession, must review all incentives and concessions in order to generate enough fund to run its operation adding that the police was better when it was introduced because of the price of oil which could reasonably sustain the economy.

He said, “In the last seven years also, sectoral incentives were given to importing and investing companies that double as exporters. These companies were given the full benefits of Export Expansion Grant (EEG), as incentives.

“These benefits however resulted into abuse of forex utilisation, transfer pricing, under invoicing, non repatriation of export proceeds and other export fraud to the detriment of the National economy.

“The companies enjoyed the incentives without paying excise duty. These companies should be brought under excise duty payment. After all the companies have enjoyed sectoral incentives for 7 years without paying excise duty, which is considered a reasonable period of tax holiday and gestation.”

He explained that the government has failed to implement the ECOWAS members States legislation on Excise Duties which emanated from the 62nd Ordinary Session o the Council of Minister in 2009 in Abuja.

Ali said the non implementation of the policy has placed Nigeria having the lowest tax bands in the Africa subregion if not in Africa.
While all members states have implemented he directive and collects excise duty on exports from Nigeria, the FG is yet to do same to imports from these member states.

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