The sigh of relief expressed by many taxpayers in the country due to the different tax incentives ongoing like tax holidays, the extension of deadlines, waivers packages introduced to cushion the economic effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, may be short-lived as the federal government of Nigeria is planning to introduce new taxes on the masses.
This conjecture is due to the recent proposal of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS to levy ₦1.50 on every litre of PMS popularly known as petrol imported into the country. Non-alcoholic beverages were also included in the proposal to be taxed like alcoholic drinks and tobacco.
The proposal represented the major highlight of the Comptroller-General of the NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.) address during a session in the House of Representatives held on Thursday, March 18th, 2021 to defend the agency’s 2020 budgetary performance and 2021 proposal.
Consequently, Ali stated that a proposal to reintroduced a levy on imported petroleum products is only necessary to boost IGR. He disclosed that the NCS had recommended that telecommunications service providers should also be taxed on the recharge cards they produce, while carbonated drinks would also become taxable.
Hear from the horse’s mouth,
“One of the reasons for us to tax carbonated drinks is that, if we tax alcoholic beverages and tobacco because they are injurious to our health, carbonated drinks, with the content of sugar, are equally injurious to our health.
“Most of the diabetes cases we see today are as a result of consumption of these drinks. So, it is deadly; as deadly as tobacco. Alcohol is less deadly than them. But we are still running a zero excise duty on these companies.”
On more IGR strategies
The Customs boss told the lawmakers that the service had designed various strategies to improve revenue generation in 2021 based on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
Part of the programmes to be executed is the e-Customs, which will make its operations electronic and automated. Ali said the NCS plans to purchase operational scanners and border surveillance equipment, among others.