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FG loses N1trillion to Import Duty Waivers Request Yearly – Minister

From Godwin Obi, Lagos      |

The Federal government says it conceded about N1trillion through grants of various import waivers to both public and private organizations between 2011 and 2015.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia, Zainab Ahmed on Friday at stakeholders’ meeting for the introduction of E-Solution for the Administration of Import Duty Waivers at the ministry headquarters.
She also said that the ministry on annual basis receives over 600,000 requests for import duty waivers from government agencies, the private sector and non-government organizations.
The E-Solution is a deployment of an automated Custom Duty Portal that will be used in the management of Customs Import Duty Exemption Management, IDEC.
The initiative is the brainchild of the ministry of finance, budget and National Planning and when the system is fully operational, it will improve efficiency in service delivery, improve revenue drive leading to increase in revenue generation and would officially commence operation in the first quarter of 2020.
The ministry said the hitherto manually operating system which gives room for manipulations and leakages in revenue generation processes will be eliminated.
The Minister said the initiative is one of the President Mohammadu Buhari’s giant strides and administrative ingenuity and that the project is in line with the priorities of the federal government aimed at creating employment, reducing poverty, stimulating the micro-economic environment for sustainable growth and development.
‘‘Despite revenue losses due to manual processing, she said multiple use of IDEC approvals, delay in processing applications, indiscriminate allocations and subjectivity in the appropriate process have remained a major constraint in the monitoring, evaluation and standardizing the process of granting waivers and certificates.
‘‘In order to address these challenges, the ministry has keyed into the priority programmes of this administration, embark on reforming the processes, which involves re-engineering the processes from application to issuance and validations by the Nigerian Customs Service, to be powered by digital technology,’’ she explained.
Recall that the Federal Executive Council, FEC recently approved this project and it is expected that the implementation will be pursued vigorously in the first quarter of 2020.
In view of this, the minister reiterated the commitment to work with all stakeholders in order to deliver the needed incentives to allow economic activities to grow.

According to her, the stakeholders’ meeting was aimed at sensitizing stakeholder and to have a common ground and understanding so that at the end the outcome will be binding on all stakeholders.
She said the re-engineering of the IDEC process is expected to aid the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria and urged stakeholders to take advantage of the IDEC reform and ensure seamless service delivery.

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