- Import Prohibition Attracts $10b Investment, Says CB
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the import prohibition policy of the apex bank has attracted investment valued at $10billion into the country.
The CBN chief spoke in Abuja during an interactive seesion with the Joint House Committees on Finance, Appropriation; Aids, Loans & Debt Management and Budget Research on the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper.
Represented by Deputy Governor, Operations, Adebayo Adelabu,Adebayo Adelabu, the CBN governor said a reduction in inflation rate from 18.9 per cent to a little above 15 per cent has been achieved by key fiscal policies introduced by the administration which were aimed at stabilising the economy.
He said local manufacturing of some of the prohibited items, such as building materials–granite, marble, among others, has started by some companies established across the country. This he said would create jobs for the youths.
Emefiele said the official exchange rate of N305/$ and the parallel market’s N360/$ have been stable over the past few months due to the intervention of the CBN in agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing sectors and petroleum sector which has been yielding positive results.
The CBN and Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) agreed that proceeds from forex transaction would be remitted into the Federation Account for the three tiers of government to share, and reduce budget deficit.
Members, however took him to task on the bailout given to states and he said CBN does not bailout to states as provided in the CBN Act, 2007.
He added that since they cannot afford the high interest rate from commercial banks, intervention fund were given to critical sectors of the economy at single rate and was channeled through Development Financial Institutions (DFIs).
However, Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Finance, Mahmud Dutse, who respresented Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance requested the support of the National Assembly towards boosting the 20 per cent independent revenue from government owned enterprises, saying there were plans to sanction CEOs of agencies who fail to adhere to the policy.
He said Nigeria’s tax regime should be reviewed as it is one of the lowest in the world and less than one-third of Africa’s ratio.
He said in line with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) tariff policy, the only proposal for tax review applies to excise duties on alcohol and cigarette.
Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Tunde Fowler, in his presentation disclosed that N3.233 trillion was realsied over the past 10 months, an amount that represented 79.35 per cent of its collection target for 2017 fiscal year.
The FIRS justification for 2018-2020 revenue framework, he said, was based on the Federal Government Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
He said its tax assessment between 2013 and 2015 revealed N1 trillion after its tax audit exercise base deployed technology which has aided the tax agency to increase its revenue.
Various measures have been adopted by FIRS to ensure increased collections of Federal Government dues in the corporate and individual taxes.
Fowler added that the new modalities structured for optimal access of accruable due from the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) had yielded over $54 million (N16.73 billion) and N207.41 billion) totalling about N16.40 billion at the federal level only.
“We have stepped up enforcement activities against tax defaulters on different fronts. These include placing non-compliance stickers on business premises of tax payers who have back-logged of taxes owed and have not made any move to liquidate such.
“We have adopted substitution as an enforcement tool by putting a lien on the bank account of errand tax payers. This, in my view, will serve as deterrent to defaulters and consequently increase tax collection.
“FIRS has so far collected over N6 billion and $4.2 million (over N1.4billion) totalling over N7.7 billion. This drive is continuous and will be unrelenting going forward,’’ he said.
Fowler revealed that as from December,31, 2017, 34 companies will no longer enjoy pioneer status.
Bala Wunti, NNPC Corporate Planning & Strategy in his presentation expressed confidence that the 2.3million barrels per day(mbpd) oil production and $45 per barrel are possible and that positive results are being yielded by the negotiation between Federal Government and Niger Delta stakeholders.
Nigeria, he said, recorded 18 per cent over-performance in the 2017 crude oil benchmark based on improved dynamics in supply and demand at the international market, just as he expressed regrets over shutting down of major export infrastructure including Trans-Forcados Pipeline.
Minister of State for Budget & National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in her speech earlier said total oil production is pegged at 2.51 mbpd while budget oil production volume net incremental was pegged at 2.3mbpd; $45 oil benchmark; while exchange rate was pegged at N305/$ for fiscal year 2018.