Halt $5Bn Revenue Leakage As Freight To Foreign Ships, LCCI Urges President Tinubu


Halt $5Bn Revenue Leakage As Freight To Foreign Ships, LCCI Urges President Tinubu


…applaud him for the recognition accorded Organized Private Sector

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) applauded President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for recognizing the role of the Organized Private Sector in the realization of the socio-economic objectives of Nigeria.

LCCI   said this has been reflected in the President’s actions since the inauguration to stabilize the market and support the private sector.

It however urges the administration to halt the revenue leakage of more than $ 5 billion paid as freight to foreign ship owners

“While we commend the Government on some of its recent measures to stop wasteful spending, we urge the Administration to halt the revenue leakage of more than $ 5 billion paid as freight to foreign ship owners.”

Dr. Michael Olawale –Cole, President/ chairman of the council, stated that the role of the private sector is critical to the achievement of Nigeria’s economic goals of job creation, revenue mobilization, and non-oil export promotion.

He said the Chamber’s perspectives are in tandem with the Government’s need to check the over-bloated and inefficient workforce of the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

The Council however said that the LCCI notes with cautious concern the proposed merger of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) into the Nigerian Revenue Services (NRS). We understand the Government’s arguments on the proposed merger, which borders on improving efficiency in collecting all direct and indirect taxes and levies.

“I therefore heartily commend the efforts of the Federal Government in formulating policies, national plans, and sectoral interventions toward creating an enabling environment for enhanced national prosperity.”

“The LCCI supports the Government’s desire to curb the rising cost of governance, its readiness to declare a state of emergency on revenue generation, and its resolve to tackle them headlong.

The Government should ensure that implementing the proposed merger does not impede the ease of doing business. It would also be necessary for the Government to ensure that the fallout of the proposed merger, such as staff rationalization, realignment of operating structure, accountability, and transparency, are adequately dealt with,” he said.

Regarding the merger, it stated that it is willing to nudge the Government to embrace critical stakeholders’ engagement and consultation, which it hopes will provide further insights into charter-specific responsibilities and possibilities.

LCCI commends the Government on the Executive Orders which, by and large, will curb arbitrary taxation policies. “The Orders: The Finance Act (Effective Date Variation) Order 2023, Customs Excise Tariff (Variation) Amendment Order, 2023, Suspension of the Five-Percent Excise Tax (Telecommunications Services) Order, and the Excise Duty Escalation (locally manufactured products) Order, 2023 are most welcomed.

While the Finance Act 2023 defers the commencement date of the changes contained in the Act from May 23, 2023, to September 1, 2023, the Excise Tariff (Variation) Amendment Order shifts the date for the commencement of the tax changes from March 27, 2023, to August 1, 2023. These new dates align with the 2017 National Tax Policy, which provides a 90-day minimum advance notice.”

The chairman/president of the Council of LCCI said they note with satisfaction that the Executive Orders demonstrate the listening ear tendency of Your Excellency. “They further highlight the Administration’s readiness to strengthen due process, willingness to follow established path, and readiness to uphold collective agreements while at the same time taking into serious consideration their economic growth impacts in general and the organized private sector in particular. They will also lessen the current hardship being faced by the households. With the new dates, the LCCI believes that they will afford the affected sectors enough time to rise to the expectations of the Acts.”

LCCI stated that the recent appointment of Taiwo Oyedele as Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Fiscal Policy and Tax Reforms established to remove barriers impeding business growth in Nigeria is decisive affirmative action.

“ It is clear by this pronouncement that the President recognizes the importance of a sound fiscal policy environment and an effective taxation system for the functioning of the Government and the economy.”

“The committee’s primary objective would be to enhance revenue collection efficiency, ensure transparent reporting, and promote the effective utilization of tax and other revenues to boost citizens’ tax morale, foster a healthy tax culture, and drive voluntary compliance.”

“Your Excellency, it would be important for the committee to focus on expanding the tax net to avoid overburdening existing taxpayers. Other issues of revenue leakages, such as oil theft, should also be properly addressed. These would ensure that the Government can earn more revenue and that there will be less dependence on internal and external borrowings to fund the budget.

These efforts will improve Nigeria’s revenue profile and create a more conducive and internationally competitive business environment.

Olusola Bello






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