FG slashes import duties on 115 items

The Federal Government, in a bid to promote development in critical sectors of the economy, has approved a reduction in the import duties of 115 items in various sectors of the economy.

The approval was given by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of the fiscal policy measures of the Federal Government for the country.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, while communicating the approval through a circular obtained by our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday, said the move was in line with the provisions of the Economic Community of West African States’ Common External Tariff.

The ECOWAS CET, which will cover the 2017 to 2019 fiscal periods, is composed of three categories made up of an Import Adjustment Tax list of 173 tariff lines, a national list consisting of 91 items and an import prohibition list, which is applicable to certain goods originating from non-ECOWAS member states.

It read in part, “This is to confirm that His Excellency, Mr. President, has approved the 2016 fiscal policy measures made up of the supplementary protection measures for implementation together with the ECOWAS CET 2015-2019 with effect from 17th of 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.”

An analysis of the  import adjustment tax list, which contains 173 items, shows that the Federal Government has given approval for the reduction of 26 of them, while it left the tariffs on 144 items unchanged.

However, the tariffs on three items contained in the import adjustment tax list were reviewed upwards.

For the national list consisting of 91 products, the circular stipulated that a downward review was approved for 89 items in order to encourage development in the real sector of the economy.

The items in the national list whose import duties were reduced from 10 per cent to five per cent are milk and cream; tea; fats of sheep or goat; malt extract; tomatoes prepared or preserved by vinegar; under natured ethyl alcohol for medical, pharmaceutical or scientific purpose; petroleum oils and oils obtained from bitumen minerals other than crude.

Others are hypochlorites; synthetic organic colouring matter; grease for treatment of textile materials; prepared glues and adhesives; activated carbon; picking preparations for metal surfaces; organic composite solvents and thinners; mixes alkylbenzenes; and industrial monocarboxylic fatty acids.

In the same vein, the government also approved a reduction from 10 per cent to five per cent for tubes, pipes, hoses, sheets, foil, tape, polyethylene, paper and paper board, yarn, synthetic staple fibres, semi-finished products of iron or non-alloy steel, stranded wire ropes, and completely knocked down or unassembled for the assembly industry.

For items such as automatic circuit breakers, switches, lamp-holders, electrical apparatus for switching or protecting electrical circuits, the Federal Government gave an approval for the reduction of their import duties from 20 per cent to 10 per cent.

For machineries and equipment used in sectors such as agriculture, cement, hospitality, power, iron and steel, solid minerals, textile and aviation, the government, according to the circular, approved a zero import duty.

Before the approval, the import duties for machineries and equipment used in these sector were put at five per cent.

The circular also reinforced the ban placed on the importation of some items.

Some of them are refined vegetable oil, cocoa butter, spaghetti/noodles, fruit juice in retail packs,  bagged cement, soaps and detergent, mosquito repellent coils, corrugated paper and paper boards,  telephone recharge cards and vouchers, carpets and rugs, all types of footwear, bags and suitcases, and used motor vehicles above 15 years from year of manufacture.

The government also banned the importation of live or dead birds, waters, liquid dietary supplements and medicament such as paracetamol tablets and syrup, chloroquine tablets and syrup, among others.

Hajj Pilgrims Complain Over BTA Slash

Several pilgrims to this year’s Hajj have complained of reduction in their expected Basic Travel Allowances (BTA) issued by their state Pilgrims Welfare Boards.
Intending pilgrims from Katsina state, especially those who paid for first class seats expressed worry over the BTA issued to them. It was gathered that the pilgrims who were expecting about $1500 USD were paid $1000 Dollars only.

A pilgrim who pleaded anonymity said the states pilgrim welfare board paid him $1000 Dollars having paid a first class seat which attracts $1500 as BTA.
Another intending pilgrim from Plateau state accused officials of the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board of allegedly cutting his BTA by $250.
It was reported that pilgrims from Plateau state received a BTA of $750 after paying N1,035,000 for their hajj seats.
When contacted, the board’s Public Relations Officer Wada Haruna denounced the allegations as baseless.
He explained that the pilgrims from Plateau had paid for the lowest seat which cost about N1million adding that the remaining N35,000 covered expenses for local charges which include their uniforms, luggage as well as transportation in Saudi Arabia.
When contacted, the Executive Secretary of the Katsina state pilgrims welfare board, Abu Rimi said the issues arose from a recent circular issued to them from National Hajj commission and CBN that only $1000 Dollars is to be paid to all those who had earlier deposited for first class seat as against $1500 dollars.

Credit: dailytrust

Reps To “Live By Example”, Set To Slash Salary

In support of the move to reduce the high cost of governance and to boost the war against corruption, the House of Representatives has declared its readiness to take salary cut and back President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft measures.

Making these disclosures, yesterday, in Lagos, Chairman, Ad-hoc Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Hon. Mohammed Sani Zorro, said all members of the House of Representatives irrespective of party affiliations are on the same page with the President on the change agenda and ready to give him the necessary legislative backing to actualize the agenda.

Zorro, who represents Gumel/Gagarawa/Mai Gatari/Sule Tankarkar Federal Constituency of Jigawa State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), said the need to streamline the funding of the House’s activities in line with best practices across the world and Nigeria’s economic fortunes was the reason the Reps set up the Dr Clement Nwankwo Committee.

Read More: vanguardngr

Governor Slashes Own Salary, Travel Allowance By 50

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has announced the slashing of his salary and travel allowance by 50%.

Ikpeazu, who disclosed this Monday at the Government House Umuahia, while swearing in the state’s new Head of Service, Dr. Vivian Uma,  said he was deeply pained by his administration’s inability to pay salaries of workers as at when due following the dwindling federal allocation.

He said he had decided to personally identify with the suffering workers and would not lift the self imposed austerity until the salaries and allowances owed workers were cleared.

Some workers, especially those in the parastatals, as well as pensioners are being owed up to six months salaries.

The Governor, who is yet to move into the Government House, Umuahia, promised “to do everything possible” to  systematically defray the arrears of workers’ salaries. He called on political  appointees to follow his example, stressing that there is need to cut down the cost of governance.

 Meanwhile, he congratulated the new Head of Service on his appointment which he described as a milestone, saying that the appointment is part of his government’s desire to rejig  the civil service.

Credit: Punch