The Federal Government has granted N1.024 trillion as tax and import duty waivers between 2011 and 2015, according the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

A breakdown showed that import duty waiver, concessions and grants gulped N504 billion, while Value Added Tax (VAT) waiver stood at N228bn, and pioneer status non-oil companies got N74bn and pioneer status to oil companies amassed N220bn.

At a one-day sensitisation seminar on digitalisation of Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) in Kano, Ahmad said from August 2017 to August 2019, N342bn worth of waivers was granted by the FG.

The minister said the scope of such requests is expanding hence the need to have in place modern technology to drive its administration.

Ahmed, who was represented by Shehu Kura, the Kano State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, said the automated IDEC portal, which is in line with the ministry’s strategic revenue growth initiative (SRGI), shall deliver improved revenue profile of the government by blocking leakages associated with the current duty exemption processes.

According to her, the government will also standardise and simplify the waiver request processes to eliminate bottlenecks and subjectivity thereby guaranteeing ease of doing business.

Also speaking at the event, the Comptroller–General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (rtd), said issuing waivers/IDEC is to provide incentives that will stimulate industrialisation and economic growth.

“To achieve this, it is important for stakeholders who are the beneficiaries of the initiatives understand the process and fully comply with the rules,” Ali said.