The Federal Government has said plans are in place to commence a 0.5% levy on imported goods to raise funds to meet its obligations to the African Development Bank, the World Bank and other multilateral organisations.
The House of Representatives Committee on Finance made this known in a document tagged: ‘Invitation to a One Day Public Hearing and Submission of Memoranda on the 2022 Finance Bill,’
According to The PUNCH, the new levy was introduced into the 2022 Finance Bill under Sector 13 for Customs, Excise, Tariff, etc. (Consolidation) Act.
The document partly read, “In addition to extant customs duties and other approved charges, a levy of 0.5 per cent is hereby imposed on all eligible goods imported into Nigeria from outside Africa to finance capital contributions, subscriptions and other financial obligations to the African Union, African Development Bank, African Export-Import Bank, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations and other multilateral institutions as may be designated by regulation issued by the minister responsible for finance.”
The government explained in the document that the amendment was essential to ensure certainty and sustainability of funding of the African Union and other key multilateral development institutions, “to bring into effect the Decision of the Outcome of the Retreat of the Assembly of the African Union (Assembly/AU/Dec.605; XXVII), and Federal Executive Council decision”.
While presenting the 2023 appropriation bill to a joint session of the National Assembly recently, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (Ret’d), noted that despite the revenue challenges in the country, the country still consistently fulfill its debt service obligation.
He said, “Despite our revenue challenges, we have consistently met our debt service commitments. Staff salaries and statutory transfers have also been paid as and when due.”