The Federal Government plans to reduce the import duties and levies being paid on buses, tractors and other vehicles used for mass transit as a way to cut the cost of transportation and reduce inflation rate in the country.
This is part of the package of the new finance bill approved by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday.
Minister of Finance, Budget And National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, gave the indication while speaking with state house correspondents after the FEC meeting in Abuja, adding that bill would now be transmitted to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law.
Ahmed said the bill was coming with some reforms that would improve the country’s tax laws and reduce some taxes especially for small businesses in addition to those already reduced in the 2019 finance bill.
She said, “These reforms will commence and will be closely followed by the cessation rules for small businesses as well as providing incentives for mass transit by reducing import duties and the levies for large tractors, buses and other vehicles. The reason for us is to reduce the cost of transportation, which is a major driver of inflation, especially food production.
“In the last finance bill, 2019, we reduced taxes from 30 per cent to 20 per cent for enterprises that have a turnover of between N25m and N100m.”
Ahmed also assured that there will be no increase in taxes, adding, “We also have proposed measures to create a legal instrument that supports a crisis intervention fund such as, the crisis intervention that we have had to put in place for COVID-19.
“So we hope that we don’t have other crises but we need to create such a fund so that it is available and it is legislated for. “We are also amending the Fiscal Responsibility Act to enhance fiscal efficiencies and also to control the cost revenue ratios of government-owned enterprises so that we will be able to realise more operating surpluses from these enterprises.”
The minister said, “In producing this bill, what we were doing was amending provisions in 13 different taxes which include the Capital Gains Tax Act, Companies Income Tax Act (CITA), Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act (IIDITRA), Personal Income Tax Act (PITA), Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act, Customs & Excise Tariff (Consolidation) Act, Value Added Tax Act (VATA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, the Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Public Procurement Act.
“Some highlights of these provisions include amendments that we have had to make to provide incremental changes to tax laws. These amendments include providing fiscal relief for corporate taxpayers, for instance, by reducing the applicable minimum tax rate for two consecutive years; so from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent.”
Nigeria’s oil revenue not enough to cover petrol import costs – Finance minister
Nigeria’s revenue being generated from its low oil production cannot cover the cost of imported petrol, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has said.
She stated this on Thursday in an interview with Reuters on the sideline of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
She said the Federal Government hopes that oil production will average 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) this year.
In the first quarter of 2022, Nigeria’s oil production averaged 1.5 million bpd.
The minister said, “We are not seeing the revenues that we had planned for. When the production is low it means we’re … barely able to cover the volumes that are required for the (petrol) that we need to import.”
This year, the FG had budgeted 1.8 million bpd of production, but frequent crude theft and attacks on pipelines continue to affect the nation’s wealth.
In April, it asked the national assembly to drop the projected production volume to 1.60 million barrels per day.
Despite higher oil prices due to the Russia-Ukraine war, under-recovery costs, also known as petrol subsidy, continue to erode gains.
Nigeria has spent about N1 trillion on petrol import shortfall in the last four months and will spend up to N4 trillion this year. This has also dwindled the federation revenue — just as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited has been unable to remit any amount to the government purse this year.
On the recent hike of the monetary policy rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the minister said the move was necessary due to policy adjustments by the US Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe.
No plane crashed in Lagos – FAAN, NEMA
Two government agencies, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and National Emergency Management Agency, have dismissed reports of a fresh plane crash in the Ikeja area of Lagos.
An internet user who saw a plane being towed away had sent the picture to the social media, concluding that it was the wreckage of a fresh plane crash in Lagos.
The aircraft, which had missing wings, was spotted on Ikeja-Agege road, causing gridlock along the route on Tuesday as the news went viral on the social media.
But FAAN in a terse statement posted on its social media handles, said Nigerians should disregard the news.
It stated, “The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria would like to inform the general public to disregard the news making the rounds on social media about an alleged crash at Ikeja Airport.
“The aircraft was sold by the owner to a buyer, who was taking it to its final destination.”
Also, Ibrahim Farinloye, the zonal coordinator, South-West, NEMA, said after due consultations with all critical stakeholders and tracking of all incoming and outgoing flights in Lagos, there was no plane.
An aviation analyst, Daniel Dikio, had also tweeted his observation of the viral video.
“It is an Airbus A319, hasn’t flown domestically in years. I can see traces of a green logo; it likely belonged to First Nation Airways in its time.
“The wings are separated cleanly; this wouldn’t happen in a crash. The separation is a sign of dismantling.
“There is no damage to the fuselage, almost impossible given the purported circumstances”, Dikio noted.
FG targets 1.4mbpd domestic refining before 2027
The Federal Government has disclosed plans to actualise 1.4 million barrels per day, mbpd, domestic refining of crude oil in the next five years.
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