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Government raises import duties on consumable, luxury goods


Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun

Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun

• SUVs, boats, sports cars now attract 70% • Rice, alcoholic spirits 60 %
• Fairly used(tokunbo) cars, 35 % • Industrial oils, bolts, others down to five per cent

The Federal Government has raised duties on luxury goods such as yachts and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) imported into the country.But also affected are some food items such as rice, salt and sugarcane that have local alternatives.

The plan to raise the duties which was first contemplated by former Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala under the immediate past administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had remained on the drawing board due to Jonathan’s loss of the presidential election to the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and the consequent change of officials between the former administration and the current one.

Under the new Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) Common External Tariff (CET) regime which administers import and export tariffs within the West African sub-region in the movement of goods, importers of yachts and other luxury automobiles such as SUVs, boats, sports cars, and other vessels used for pleasure are now to pay 70 per cent of the value of the vehicles as taxes (duties) to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS). The new rate is a jump from the 20 per cent which the owners currently enjoy. The increase is contained in a circular by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun to the NCS.

Other major items affected in the duty increase include sugar cane and salt from 10 per cent to 70 per cent; alcoholic spirit, beverages and tobacco from 20 per cent to 60 per cent; and rice from 10 per cent to 60 per cent.

Also included on the list are packaged cement, from 10 per cent to 50 per cent; cotton/ fabrics materials, from 35 per cent to 45 per cent; and used cars popular known as Tokunbo, from 10 per cent to 35 per cent respectively.

Medicaments such as anti-malarials and antibiotics; crude palm oil; wheat flour; tomatoes paste; and cassava products are also affected in the upward review of duties. But essential industrial sector accessories, including bolt, industrial oil and other equipment are to enjoy a downward review to spur local industrialisation.

The cut in the import tariff on items for industrial use may encourage entrepreneurs whose industries are shut down due to the high duties paid on imported components. Such companies may resume or expand their operations as a result of the incentives.

However, while the new policy may trigger a rise in the prices of some consumable goods until the demand for them is met locally, the NCS, which has been grappling with meeting the fiscal target set for it by the Federal Government may boost its revenue.

The policy which is coming on the heels of the recent ban by the NCS on all vehicle imports through the land borders in the country, as part of measures to curb smuggling of particularly used cars into the country is going to see citizens pay higher for used cars popularly known as ‘Tokunbo.”

The smuggling of cars into the country may have dealt a very big blow to the customs’ revenue generation as the budget minister recently announced that the NCS’ projected revenue for the third quarter of this year fell short of expectation by N100 billion, recording N200 billion instead of N300 billion target given to the agency by the Federal Government.

According to the Finance Minister, Buhari has already approved the new tariff regime.The circular reads in part: “This is to confirm that Mr. President has approved the 2016 fiscal policy measures made up of the Supplementary Protection Measures (SPM) for implementation together with the ECOWAS CET 2015 – 2019 with effect from 17th October, 2016.

“Consequently, all transactions prior to the effective date of this circular shall be subjected to the tariff rates applicable before the coming into effect of this 2016 fiscal policy measures.”

It added that the approved SPM was in line with the provision of the ECOWAS CET comprising the following:“An Import Adjustment Tax (IAT) list with additional taxes on 173 tariff lines of the extant ECOWAS CET; national list consisting of items with reduced import duty rates to promote and encourage development in critical sectors of the economy; an import prohibition list (Trade), applicable only to certain goods originating from non-ECOWAS member states.”

Adeosun declared that the current fiscal policy measures superseded those of 2015, and advised the customs and other stakeholders to ensure strict compliance.

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  • eyobaba

    It was first tabled by Jonathan, but was never carried out by him. You placed N3.7t as idle cash with the cbn and you said it was Jonathan,s idea. You stopped payment of workers insurance policy and you said it was Jonathan,s idea. You went into sambisa forest with arms procured by Jonathan. Yet you refused to give him credit. This government is childish, incompetent, un-understanding, and most of all f*#lish and vindictive. Nigeria is a dry keg of pirates gunpowder, handle with care.

    • the thinker

      forget these evil people

    • Where are the credits Gej showered on his predecessors

      • Mackson Wakama

        Did GEJ criticise his predecessors?

  • Nwaizu Ikechukwu Bruno

    Ask Oga Buhari and Madam Finance guru how much off the counter is Coartem, A mudu of Garri, Amala and Palm oil now, vis-avis, before the coalition of Aggrieved People. If they can tell you then they are actually inhumane, but if not, it can be understandable.

    Koins (Changes) is totally mopped up in the market. It is now drifting to living on Ranka Dede Megida.

  • Osinachi Oderaa

    ”But essential industrial sector accessories, including bolt, industrial oil and other equipment are to enjoy a downward review to spur local industrialization.”

    How possible, with the 5,000 MEGAWATT of electricity for more than 180 million people? Nigeria’s 5,000 MEGAWATT of electricity is not enough to power Tokyo Airport. Laos in Southeast Asia has a population of less than 9 million people and the country is generating about 7,000 MEGAWATT of electricity and exporting same to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. You see, to talk of spurring industrialization in Nigeria, our country would need at least 40,000 MEGAWATT of electricity for more than 180 million people. Even with the poor road and transport network in Nigeria, Nigerian Government can deliver on a modest national electric power as is the case in Southeast Asian nations we were once better off than and no Nigerian would complain again. With 40,000 MEGAWATT of electricity in Nigeria, there will be less of our people trooping to Mosques and Churches because what induces poor people to empty the little money they have to Pastors and Imams in the name of tithes and offering is because in most cases, the little they have do not come from investments and businesses. When people go back to work, invest, farm and business, they become busy, less religious, and pragmatic with issues of life realities that confront everyone. They become appreciative of the virtue of hard work and the shrewdness that come with it, and thus, begin to see their Pastors and Imams as lazy and only lurking for free money from the toil of others. Churches and Mosques would begin to collapse as in Britain and all industrialized/advanced countries or take a back sit as is the case in UAE, Egypt, Qatar, Bahrain. Nigerians are excessively religious, which is detrimental to industrialization, because there are completely no enabling environment to do business, resulting in the masses of the people channeling their frustrations to superstitions as the only remaining thing to make them feel good with the false hopes for better days in life beyond.

  • samson amanie

    The import duties on sugar cane and sugar increased my Goodness,this year will bring out the Beast in us. this is relating to the level of Joblessness in this country. you have taking away sugar from our tea now we are managing but you have further increased our sufferation. Me i know they don’t care about us. with the knowledge that things might get worst we are not prepared. because we can’t.Biscuit and sweet factories are dying not because of machine they are dying due to material availability. sugar is used for many production activities if you increase this duties the citizen will pay through continuous slavery through continuous casualization. they call this form of slavery outsourcing. i feel for this country, rice wey we dey manage again. this life is becoming even more hard. Na import duty na em be the solution of the whole problem wey we get. wetin them want make we chop. una dey fast to increase duties for una benefit.what about the minimum wage, what about provision of good health facility. una dey up………make una dey look ground oh

    • Adisa Oloko

      You are crying over sugar like a baby! Instead of thanking God for saving you from committing suicide from diabetics by eradicating sugar from your staples.

      • samson amanie

        when i talk about sugar, i am not talking about the one for tea and drinking garri. i am talking about the one used by manufacturers to make sweet, bread, biscuits cakes and from here they pay the salaries of workers. the higher the price of sugar the higher the cost of most production. the implication is on the workers and the final consumer. that was the view thanks

  • Omolaso

    When they talk of local industrialisation without electricity in Nigeria they sound insane!!!! to me Please let salt come in because Nigerians eat adulterated salt like substance now !!!

  • tunde008

    A call for confusion at the ports this early in the new year.Which SUV is 70% import duty? the chasis or Is the tokunbo SUV to pay 70% import duty too?