FEC Lifts Moratorium on Pioneer Status Incentives

• Releases list of 27 pioneer industries, products, sets out new guidelines
Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
After concluding the critical reforms to the incentive regime, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has lifted the administrative suspension on the processing of Pioneer Status Incentives (PSI) applications.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, made this disclosure yesterday at a parley co-addressed with the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Ms. Yewande Sadiku.

The federal government also released the new guidelines for PSI applications as well as a revamped list of pioneer industries and products.
Enelamah said FEC took the decision at its last meeting on August 2.
Aside the revamped pioneer list, there was the addition of 27 key industries, deletion of two industries and a biennial review of the list going forward.

FEC, which last revised the list in 2006, also approved the immediate deletion of mineral oil prospecting as its now subject to Petroleum Tax Act and the deletion of manufacture of cement, three years from first approval, as Nigeria is now a net exporter of the product.
The pioneer list comprises mining and processing of coal, poultry/meat processing and preservation,  manufacture of starch, cocoa processing, animal feeds, tanning, footwear production, luggage and handbags, household and personal hygiene paper products, paints and printing ink, plastic products, batteries and accumulators, steam generators and railway locomotives, wagons and rolling stock.

Other items include metal-forming machinery and machine tools, machinery for metallurgy, machinery for food and beverage processing, machinery for textile, apparel and leather production, machinery for paper and paperboard production, plastics and rubber machinery, waste treatment, e-commerce services, software development and publishing, motion picture production, distribution, exhibition and photography; music production, publishing and distribution, real estate investment vehicles under the Investments and securities act, mortgage backed securities under the Investments and Securities Act; and outsourcing.
In line with the reform provisions, all additions will be added to the list immediately, while all deletions will be removed in three years.

Enelamah said the review of the list of pioneer industries and products was done to bring it in line with the economic realities of Nigeria and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

In accordance with the Industrial Development Income Tax Relief Act, the administration of PSI is the responsibility of different arms of government.
While FEC is responsible for amending the qualifying list for products, NIPC will process the applications, including granting approvals and extensions for applicant companies.

The inspectorate department of the Ministry of Trade will determine the date of commencement of production of applicant companies, while the Federal Inland Revenue (FIR) is responsible for implementation of tax holiday incentives.

“Government is committed to encouraging and attracting investments into critical sectors of the economy which will significantly impact development and deliver key benefits to the country. These benefits include economic growth and diversification, industrial and sectorial development, employment, skills and technology transfer; export development and import substitution,” Enelamah said.

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