Reps: FG Loses $2.9bn Annually through Tax Waivers

By Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House  of Representatives on Tuesday disclosed that Nigeria is currently losing about $2.9 billion annually through indiscriminate tax waivers, with little evidence that the tax incentives  have increased investments in the country.
The policy of tax incentives and waivers, the House recalled, was originally designed to attract genuine investments, particularly foreign investors who were expected to bring in capital to support economic development and create employment.
The policy has however been abused, the House said.
The House therefore directed its Committees on Finance and Public Accounts to investigate the policy which is being granted by the Ministry of Finance, with a view to abolish unproductive incentives.
The resolution of the House followed a motion sponsored by Hon. Kehinde Odeneye  (Ogun APC) who emphasised that conditions for tax incentives should be clearly spelt out and directed at achieving specific social and economic objectives.
Nigeria receives an average of  $6 billion annually, Odeneye said citing figures from the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council.
Hon. Herman Hembe  (Benue APC) lamented that the policy was abused to the extent that waivers were granted to oil exploration companies.
He accused the Ministry of Finance of disregarding the recommendations of eligibility and duration of tax waivers.