FG earmarks N20bn for Export Expansion Grant backlog

The Federal Government has appropriated N20bn as tax credit to pay part of the N300bn outstanding claims of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme.

The effort is part of the government’s plan to discourage imports and promote exports by making available incentives to manufacturers to export.

The proposed spending is part of the 2017 budget, which President Muhammadu Buhari presented to the National Assembly on December 14th.

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council said that manufacturers are owed N300bn in outstanding claims on the EEG.

The Export Expansion Grant is a Federal Government programme set up in 2006 to encourage exports of non-oil products.

It is meant to give the exporter a non-cash financial credit on the value of the goods exported, ranging from 5% to 30% Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate, which can be applied against import duties on other items.

According to government data, the programme increased non-oil revenue to $2.97bn in 2013, from $500m in 2006. However, the scheme was suspended due to allegations of irregularities in its implementation by manufacturers.

In November, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, announced that the government had held discussions with exporters and agreed on the need to reinstate the scheme. He said that plans had been put in place to prevent the scheme from being abused by exporters.

The minister said that the new arrangement calls for arrears owed to exporters to be settled with a tax credit instead of an import credit.

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