Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday, approved the automated gateway platform for the issuance of Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) as well as vehicle identification and registration number.
The IDEC platform is to ensure that government effectively tracks and manages all revenue accruable from import duties and other charges.
The Federal Government had seven months ago announced that it lost N4.6 trillion from waivers granted to importers in 2017 and 2018.
The loss came as a result of the failure of the Ministry of finance to implement the Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC) project.
It had said it hoped to cut the huge revenue loses to the tune of over N2 trillion due to manual processes.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, while briefing State House Correspondents, said the automated process will enhance efficiency, block leakages and reduce the amount of time it takes to review exemption request and provide the necessary approvals.
“Today the ministry of finance sort the approval on a project which is designed to manage an automated gate way 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 responsibe for 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 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 mining operations.
“In the process of these exemptions a couple of years, we realized 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, block possible leakages 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.”
On the vehicle identification and registration number, Ahmed said it will be available to any user to access and find out information on vehicles.
“On our part, the IDEC platform will be able to see how much waivers have been granted to which sectors and also track the performance of those waivers and reduce the cost subsequently.
“The portal is undertaking in the form of a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with Forecore Technology Solution Limited, as the preferred partner to Develop, Deploy, Manage and Transfer for a 10-year concession period before transferring back to the ministry.