- Customs Want 35% Levy on Vehicle Importation Reduced
The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (retd.) has called on the Federal Government to reduce the 35 per cent levy on imported vehicles so as to check the rising cases of smuggled vehicles into the country.
Ali said this on Wednesday in Abuja at the unveiling of a Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative which was held at the Ministry of Finance.
He said already the Nigeria Customs Service had made a proposal to the Ministry of Finance on the need for a reduction in the 35 per cent levy on imported vehicles.
Ali said currently, any new vehicle imported into the country attracted an import duty of 35 per cent and an additional levy of 35 per cent.
This, he noted, brought the total duty payable on such a vehicle to about 70 per cent.
He described the 70 per cent being charged by the government as high, adding that time had come for it to be reduced.
In achieving this, he said, the government could still retain the 35 per cent import duty while the additional 35 per cent levy could be tinkered by bringing it downwards.
He said, “First, we must understand the fact that smuggling in most cases did not really occur because of the tariff that is placed on goods in Nigeria.
“When we talk about vehicles, yes, new vehicles attract 70 per cent duty; that is 35 per cent duty and 35 per cent levy but most of the vehicles that are being smuggled through our borders are not new vehicles, they are used vehicles.
“And the value is calculated based on the year of make and other attributes. So, the motivating factor that gets people to move these goods to our neighbouring countries is with the sole aim of smuggling them into Nigeria.
He added, “The 35 per cent is a baseline which is the duty, but the 35 per cent levy is what we think should be tinkered with.
“We should be able to reduce that to a level that it would be affordable. 70 per cent is on the high side, there is no doubt about that for new vehicles but we cannot touch the baseline of the tax regime.”
The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, who unveiled the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative, said that the government was concerned about the inability of some of its agencies to meet their revenue target.
She admitted that it had become a challenge for the government to mobilise fiscal resources to deliver on its developmental objectives, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed that revenue generation needed to be enhanced.
According to her, while oil revenue to oil Gross Domestic Product ratio stands at about 39 per cent, non-oil revenue to non-oil GDP is about 4.2 per cent.
He said the country’s Value Added Tax revenue to GDP stood at less than one per cent, adding that this was low when compared to the ECOWAS average of 3.4 per cent.
In terms of excise revenue, she said at 4.1 per cent, revenue generated from excise duty in Nigeria was low compared to Ghana at 15.3 per cent and Kenya at 19.5 per cent.
She said, “Nigeria’s low revenue generation capabilities have been an enduring challenge to past and present governments.
“Although, we are celebrated as the country in Africa with the largest economy, translating this wealth into revenues remains a challenge.
“We have, therefore, face difficulty in mobilising domestic funds necessary for human capital development and infrastructure that are both drivers of sustainable economic growth.
“Our current revenue to Gross Domestic Product ratio of about seven per cent is unsatisfactory and we are keen on exerting all efforts in turning this around.”
Ahmed said she had tasked the Ministry of Finance and its agencies to identify what could be done to turn around the current revenue situation.
When asked when the planned increase in VAT would be implemented, the minister said a committee was currently looking at items that would be captured under the new VAT regime.
She said, “We are studying a possibility of a VAT increase but you also know that the increase of VAT requires an amendment of the law.
“First of all, the steering committee will look at the details; it is most likely the VAT increase will be selective. It will be on special items, so it won’t be across the board.
“I am sure you are already aware that there is a number of items that are VAT exempt such as food and drugs.
“There would be a VAT increase during the course of 2019; we would have clarity as to which items and what the rate would be and we would have to take a request to the National Assembly for amendment before it takes into effect.
“There is also going to be a luxury tax. Already, there is a luxury tax imposed on things like jets. There are few exceptional items that are classified as a luxury but we are contemplating increasing excise duties on carbonated drinks, just like we have excise duties now on tobacco and on alcohol.
“But this is going to be a subject of study, because we have to identify which ones would be affected and the best way to apply in which to apply the taxes.”
Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others
Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.
Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.
“It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.
“For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.
The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.
Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”
“To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.
Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.”
Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director
Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria
Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.
According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.
Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.”
Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.
The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.
“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.”
It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations
The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.
The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.
However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.
On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.”
I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth. 🇳🇬🙏🏽🇳🇬
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) March 1, 2021
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