The Federal government has approved the total sum of N1,550,187,713.00 for the procurement of 68 brand new Ford Pickup operational vehicles for Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The federal government disclosed this last week after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who briefed State House Correspondents alongside the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning and the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu , explained that the operational vehicles currently available for the service are grossly inadequate for effective anti-smuggling activities.
She added that the need to effectively patrol the borders of the country, enhance Customs’ bid to suppress smuggling and increase revenue collection gave rise to the request to purchase 68 operational vehicles.
Adeosun further explained that having identified the need, the Service made provision for the purchase of 68 operational vehicles, Hilux, in its 2017 capital appropriation.
The council she said approved the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee on Tax Laws Reform.
The new policies will among others, entail VAT exemption for life insurance, public transportation, residential buildings, etc; while taxes on SMEs will now be reduced from 20 to 15 per cent.
Adeosun recalled that the Federal Executive Council had on 1st February, 2017, approved the revised National Tax Policy in order to have a robust tax system that would promote investment and improve revenue for sustainable national development.
The finance minister said, “The proposed tax laws reform by the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee(NTPIC) is expected to achieve following specific fiscal objectives: remove obsolete, ambiguous and contradictory provisions in the laws, increase Government revenue, simplify the process of paying taxes and doing business, promote Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and protect most vulnerable persons in the society.
“The NTPIC has produced two (2) Executive Orders and five (5) Amendment Bills.
The two (2) proposed Executive Orders are: Value Added Tax Act (Modification) Order; Review of Goods Liable to Excise Duties and Applicable Rate Order.
The five (5) proposed Amendment Bills are: Companies Income Tax Act (Amendment) Bill; Value Added Tax Act (Amendment) Bill; Customs, Excise, Tariff ETC (Consolidation) Act (Amendment) Bill; Personal Income Tax Act (Amendment) Bill and Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act (Amendment) Bill.
Other laws proposed for amendments are: Stamp Duties (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and Proposed Amendment of the Associated Gas Re-Injection Act.