By Lawrence Olaoye
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the automated platform for the issuance of Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) as well as vehicle identification and registration number.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the Council meeting chaired by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said that the automated process would enhance efficiency, block leakages and reduce the amount of time it takes to review exemption request and provide the necessary approvals.
The Federal Government had announced early in the year that it lost N4.6 trillion from waivers granted to importers in 2017 and 2018.
The loss came as a result of the ministry not implementing the IDEC project. It had said it hoped to cut the huge revenue loses to the tune of over N2 trillion due to manual processes.
Ahmed said: “Today the ministry of finance sought the approval on a project which is designed to manage an automated gateway platform for the issuance of import duty exemption certificates as well as vehicle identification and registration number. The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National planning is responsible for the ministry and the country’s national finance and one of our responsibilities is implementing fiscal incentives that are used to attract investors to promote non-oil exports as well encourage encourage industrialization programme and stimulate growth in the economy.
“So, what we do is to handle applications for exemptions that come to the ministry. Various categories of import duty payments and other tax incentives and some of these exemptions cover a number of sectors including the downstream gas utilization projects, the Agro Allied processing projects, Aviation- commercial aircraft engines and spare parts, automobile assembly, iron and steel production, power including thermal hydro, solar and wind, textiles- plants, machinery and equipment that are imported for use for mining operations.
“In the process of these exemptions, a couple of years, we realize that government was actually ceding quite a significant amount of revenue through this process. Because the process was largely paper based, we got approval today to automate this process, to enhance efficiency, to block possible leakage and also to reduce the amount of time that the ministry takes to review this exemption request and provide the necessary approvals.
This portal will be managed by both the ministry as well as the Nigeria custom service.”
The vehicle identification and registration number, Ahmed said will be available to any user to access and find out information on vehicles.
According to her, “On our part, on the IDEC component, we will be able to see how much waivers have been granted to which sectors and also track the performers of those waivers and reduce the cost subsequently/”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said the the cabinet approved the sum of N40.451 billion for road contracts in Ogun- Oyo and Kano states.
He said “The first memorandum was to resolve conflicts between existing contracts and to rescope those contracts so that the roads can be completed. There are two of our contractors working in contiguous locations on the Ijebu-Igbo – Onomi road toward the Oyo State border which is in Ogun State and also the Ijebu-Igbo Ita-Igba – Owonowe to Ibadan connecting Oyo and Ogun State. So council approved the revision the rescope of work between the two contractors at the existing contract price. So it’s just a revision of the rescope of works because we are not changing the contract price, we are assigning responsibilities because it was an existing council approval we couldn’t vary it in the ministry we had to come back.”
He continued, “The other was the approval of two roads the Tagwai- Kansa road to Doguwa in Kano for N8.436 billion and Alkaleri to Situk Road in Bauch state for N32.015 billion. These are roads that were in the 2019 budget. So this is part of the implementation of the 2019 budget before the end of the year. Council also approved the variation.”
Also, the Minister of State, Health Senator Adeleke Olorunnibe Mamora said that the council gave approval for contract under the Ministry of Health for the purchase of 15 operational vehicles by NAFDAC at the cost of N307.562 million which essentially are meant to improve mobility.