The Federal Government said on Sunday it would reinstate the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme it suspended in 2014 in the 2017 budget.
The purpose for the reinstatement is to increase the volume and value of Nigeria’s exports, diversify export products and improve global competitiveness of Nigerian made goods.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, disclosed this when he gave an update report on the implementation of the Ministry’s objectives.
He noted that the EEG scheme was suspended following allegations of widespread abuse and the accumulation of significant liability on the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDCCs); however, adding that the government will reinstate the scheme in 2017 due to its importance to the economy.
“The scheme will be included in the budget in order to manage the impact on government revenue and promote transparency”, he said.
“Approved liability on the scheme for unused certificates which are either in the custody of exporters or awaiting issuance in the Federal Ministry of Finance, will be settled after the conduct of an audit to verify the actual amount due,” the Minister added.
Following the suspension of the scheme in 2014, the government set-up an inter-Ministerial Committee to review the scheme holistically and make recommendations on its continued operation or otherwise and the framework for its continued use.
In recent months, manufacturers, including those in the beverage industry such as Beta Glass Plc, the glass bottle and container maker for the beverage industry sought for EEG reinstatement, arguing that it enables them export their products and earn much needed foreign exchange.
The Federal government introduced the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) in 2006 to assist Nigerian manufacturers export their products and develop the non-oil sector.
According to government data, the programme increased non-oil revenue to $2.97bn in 2013, from $500m in 2006. However, the programme was suspended eight times by the federal government, the last of which was in 2014 and put under review. Industry experts say suspension of the programme was unhelpful for the economy at this time when the federal government needs to support programmes that would boost FX earnings for the non-oil sector.