The Federal Government is set to introduce 0.5 percent levy on imported goods to raise funds to meet its obligations to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, and other multilateral organisations.
This is contained in a document titled ‘Invitation to a One Day Public Hearing and Submission of Memoranda on the 2022 Finance Bill,’ released by the House of Representatives Committee on Finance.
The new levy was introduced into the 2022 Finance Bill under Sector 13 for Customs, Excise, Tariff, etc. (Consolidation) Act.
According to the document, the planned imported levy is part of the government’s efforts to checkmate the country’s rising debt profile.
The document read in part, “In addition to extant customs duties and other approved charges, a levy of 0.5 percent 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.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari, while presenting the 2023 appropriation bill to a joint session of the National Assembly recently, said despite the revenue challenges in the country, the country still consistently met its debt service obligation.
“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,” Buhari said.