The federal government says it is set to deploy an integrated secure track and trace solution to boost revenue earnings through excise and tax collection.
This is came after Michael Ohiani, director-general, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), presented the outline business case (OBC) compliance certificate to Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning.
In a statement issued by Manji Yarling, the acting head, media and publicity, ICRC in Abuja on Tuesday, Ohiani said the project was aimed at mitigating the country’s dwindling revenue and fostering more non-oil revenue streams.
“The public-private partnership (PPP) solution will adopt the build, operate, and transfer option,” the statement reads.
“It will allow the federal government, through the ministry of finance, to establish an effective and non-intrusive control on a broad range of goods and services subject to excise duty, safety, and standards.”
Ohiani further said the solution would bring about many benefits to Nigeria including stemming illicit trade and revenue leakages; and improving revenue generation for the government.
Other benefits, according to him, include ensuring the circulation of high-quality goods and services; achieving economies of scale and synergies among ministry’s agencies; enhancing technology and knowledge transfer and generating employment opportunities.
“The proposed solution when implemented will allow the federal government of Nigeria to establish effective and non-intrusive controls on a broad range of markets,” he said.
“Markets such as goods and services subject to excise duty, and goods subject to conformity with health, safety, and quality standards.
“Additionally, the solution aims to reduce the levels of counterfeiting, sub-standard quality, tax evasion, and under-declaration in these markets.”
Ohiani, pointed out that the ICRC and the ministry would now proceed to the procurement stage.
“A full business case (FBC) compliance certificate would be issued for onward submission to the federal executive council (FEC) for project approval,” he added.
On her part, Ahmed after receiving the OBC certificate, said the proposed solution was important at this time, adding that the government was currently constrained in terms of revenue and required an urgent boost.
“It is also to differentiate between the same products produced in Nigeria and the ones that are imported, the bottom line is for us to be able to maximise our revenue potential,” the minister said.
“Having had several meetings with the proposing company, we thought that the best way to do this is through a PPP model and I am glad that the OBC compliance certificate has been issued.”
Ahmed also said as the fiscal authority of the government, the ministry of finance had the responsibility to ensure that duties and taxes were paid.
She added the ministry would assist relevant agencies to make their work more seamless, hence the need to deploy the solution.
The minister, however, promised that the solution was not going to put more burden on companies, adding that the taxes to be collected were not going to disrupt manufacturing in any way.
“I am assuring that the manufacturing companies’ businesses will not be disrupted, they are not going to incur any additional cost, the excise duty that will be charged will be a pass-through cost,” she added.
‘We are convinced that this is the right thing to do.”
Ahmed further expressed confidence in the solution as the same infrastructure had been deployed by the same company in South Africa and Morocco to boost their revenue accruals.