The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, NIPC, said it would soon undertake a comprehensive impact assessment of existing incentives to promote investment in the country with a view to determining if they delivered the desired benefits.
The Executive secretary of the Commission, Yewande Sadiku, said on Friday in Abuja that the impact assessment exercise on incentives was part of a multi-step process the agency was considering towards incentives’ reform in the country.
Apart from the first step of putting together all the existing incentives backed by legal instrument in a publication, Mrs. Sadiku said the review exercise would help determine if the existing incentives have delivered the benefits, to allow for a recommendation for new incentives or amendment.
The NIPC boss was speaking at the public launching of the ‘Compendium of Investment Incentives in Nigeria’, a special publication documenting investment incentives in the Nigerian tax laws and other sector-wide fiscal concessions approved and gazette by the Federal government.
The publication was put together in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, pursuant to the provisions of section 4 (1) of the NIPC Act mandating it to collate, provide and disseminate up-to-date information on investment incentives available in Nigeria.
“We cannot attract investors if we cannot give them full information about the range of incentives available for them,” Mrs. Yewande noted.
“The document provides prospective investors information on all available incentives in Nigeria in one location. Without the full depth of information on what is existing already, you will not be making recommendations for a review or new ones,” she explained.
NIPC, she said, had the mandate to promote investments in Nigeria, either through ease or cost of doing business, or ensuring the payment of appropriate taxes.
She said the Compendium would not only be updated periodically as more incentives were duy gazetted, but would be enriched in content, to continue supporting the drive for business in a sustainable way.
The NIPC boss said the compendium was put together as part of the agency’s responsibilities to coordinate incentives in Nigeria, to make it easier for information on them to be available to prospective investors.
Beyond the impact assessment exercise, she said the Commission was also considering developing a domestic direct investment strategy that would focus on working with states on a state-by-state basis to generate prospective direct investors’ data in the country.
“It is important that Nigerians we think have the capacity to make material investments in Nigeria, but may not have information, are deliberately and actively encouraged to invest in their country by making all the information they require to make their investment decisions available.
“The compendium is not creating new incentives. But, providing information available in different sectors of the economy and bringing them together to one coherent place for investors, to make it easier for them. The next edition would focus on incentives available at the state level,” she said.
Chairman of FIRS, Tunde Fowler, said the publication was another effort to make information on tax incentives and customs duties available to both existing and prospective investors, to guide them in their investment decisions.
He said the FIRS would continue to partner with the NIPC to promote efforts towards ensuring the country’s economic growth and development, adding that the time was right to provide all information about all sectors of the economy.
“Nigeria must have a publication that provides the delicate balance between giving incentives and also expecting productivity and returns. Government must put in place a monitoring team to ensure that the incentives were not abused,” Mr. Fowler said.