…As CYMS partners NEPC to promote made in Nigeria products***
The Federal Ministry of Transportation is proposing tax incentives for the maritime industry to stimulate investment and boost activities, amid the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this in a statement in Lagos on Wednesday.
Jamoh who conveyed the ministry’s position to the Minister of Finance, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, reiterated the commitment of the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, toward ensuring the growth of the maritime sector.
He noted that many governments around the globe had introduced massive tax reduction or elimination to spur activities in key sectors to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
“The maritime sector is critical in the growth and development of transportation and, by extension, international trade.
“Thus, the need for Federal Government-oriented programmes and stimulus packages to deliver a response that catalyses a sustainable economic development cannot be overemphasized,” Jamoh said.
He listed the proposed incentives as zero import duty for brand new vessels imported by Nigerians or Nigerian shipping companies for use in foreign or domestic trade.
Jamoh said that others were 0.5 per cent import duty for vessels aged between one year and five years intended for use in foreign or domestic trade, and one per cent import duty for vessels aged between five years and eight years intended for use in foreign or domestic trade.
He said that there was also a proposal for zero import duty for parts or components imported by Nigerian shipyards for local shipbuilding.
He explained that it would be for an initial period of four years after which it could be reviewed by government.
“All these are expected to give the sector the vibrancy it needs for growth”, he said.
The NIMASA director-general said the incentives were being proposed because of the importance of the Nigerian maritime sector to the entire sub-Saharan African region.
According to him, Nigeria accounts for more than 65 per cent of the entire shipping trade of the sub-African continent as well as the largest producer and exporter of oil and gas on the continent.
“It is worthy of note that the maritime sector is a crucial energizer of economic growth and development, as it facilitates trade between countries.
“The Nigerian economy has witnessed substantial growth in the last two decades owing to reforms that boosted private investments in the maritime industry,” he said.
In another development, the Committee of Youth on Mobilisation and Sensitisation (CYMS), says it is partnering with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), to promote utilisation of made in Nigeria products among youths.
The CYMS’s Director-General, Mr Obinna Nwaka made this known when he received the top management of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) in Abuja led by Segun Awolowo.
He stressed the need to encourage and prepare the next generation of exporters in Nigeria.
Nwaka said the idea behind the whole concept was to create wealth through Non Oil sectors with a view to reduce poverty in the country, which was in line with the vision and mandate of NEPC.
He urged the council to key into President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to lift many young people out of poverty, while also encouraging patronage of made in Nigerian products to grow the nation’s economy.
Nwaka on behalf of the organisation presented the official concept document of CYMS to the council, while he also received from the NEPC’s CEO, Mr Olusegun Awolowo, to show commitment and partnership.
Earlier, the Executive Director / CEO of the council, Awolowo frowned at many youths not utilising available opportunities in the country and low patronage of Nigerian international export products.
He said the lack of zeal from the younger generation was a source of concern, saying that the youth should take over to build a system where poverty will longer be managed but instead create wealth.
The NEPC boss mentioned how they were able to discover many young Nigerians heading sensitive departments in top companies in abroad and that such should be emulated in Nigeria and encouraged.