The federal government has introduced an excise duty of N10 per litre on all non-alcoholic, carbonated and sweetened beverages.
Excise duty is a form of tax imposed on the production, licensing and sale of goods.
Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, said this during the public presentation of the 2022 Appropriation Act on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to her, the new policy introduced is in the Finance Act signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on December 31, 2021.
In 2019, Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, had announced that the government may introduce excise duty on carbonated drinks.
In 2020, Hameed Ali, comptroller-general of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), had proposed the collection of excise duty on soft drinks.
He had also put forward the same proposal in 2021 at an interactive session on the 2022-2024 medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF), organised by the house of representatives committee on finance.
Apart from the new ‘Sugar Tax’ in section 17, Ahmed said the 2021 finance Act also raised excise duties and revenues for the health sector.
The minister said the excise duty on soft drinks would discourage excessive consumption of sugar beverages which contributes to diabetes, obesity among others.
However, checks by TheCable showed that there are other sources of sugar intake, including alcoholic drinks, biscuits, buns, cakes, dairy products, and savoury food.
“There’s now an excise duty of N10/ per litre imposed on all non-alcoholic and sweetened beverages,” she said.
“And this is to discourage excessive consumption of sugar in beverages which contributes to a number of health conditions including diabetes and obesity.
“But also used to raise excise duties and revenues for health-related and other critical expenditures.
“This is in line also with the 2022 budget priorities.”
FG’s January Bonds Oversubscribed By N175bn –DMO
The Federal Government’s bonds for January worth N150bn, which were auctioned on January 19, were oversubscribed by N175.24bn, the Debt Management Office has said.
The DMO said on Friday the total subscription received from investors was N325.24bn.
It said a subscription of N11.19bn was received for the 12.50 per cent FGN January 2026 bonds and N214.05bn for the 13 per cent FGN January 2042 bonds, which recorded the highest subscription.
The debt office said a total of N170.64bn was allotted, comprising N81.72bn and N88.92bn.
It said, “Successful bids for the 12.50 per cent FGN January 2026 and 13 per cent FGN January 2042 were allotted at the Marginal Rates of 11.50 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.
“However, the original coupon rates of 12.5000 per cent for the 12.5000 per cent FGN January 2026 will be maintained, while the coupon rate for the 13 per cent FGN January 2042 (New Issue) is set at 13 per cent.”
The DMO had earlier released its bond issuance calendar for the first quarter of 2022, which the auction dates being January 19, February 16, and March 23.
The Federal Government planned to acquire about N480bn in new debt capital from the domestic capital market in Q1 2022, according to its bond issuance calendar.
Govt Moves To Revive Few Moribund Ports
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council are set to revive six moribund ports whose contracts were signed in 2006.
To commence the process, ICRC on Wednesday held a meeting with NSC, which is the owner of the projects, and the concessionaires, according to a statement.
The purpose of the meeting was to get the six inland container depots located in each of the geopolitical zones of Nigeria to become operational.
The statement quoted the commission’s acting Director-General, Mr. Mike Ohiani, as saying that when completed, these ICDs would bring the required benefit to the country Nigeria.
“We are not unaware that at the material time that the contracts were signed, ICRC as a commission had not been set up, so no proper outline business cases were done for the projects like we now do, but I want us to have a frank discussion so that we can chart a way forward,” he said.
The commission reminded the concessionaires and that NSC that by its Act, it is to take custody of all PPP contracts including the ones for the ICDs.
The states where the ports are located and the level of progress by the concessionaires were listed as Oyo State (10 per cent), Abia State (five per cent), Plateau State (29.7 per cent), Kano State (55 per cent), Katsina State (68 per cent) and Borno State (five per cent).
According to the statement, the concessionaires told the ICRC that the 16 years’ journey had been fraught with various challenges that had hampered any progress that could have been recorded.
It said the concessionaires complained of poor cooperation from state governments, which they said mostly delay in meeting their own part of the agreement, citing land provision as an example.
They said another major challenge was the lack of narrow gauge rail lines in and out of the dry ports, which they noted was important to make the operation of the ports efficient.
They added that access to funds also remained a major issue as banks and foreign investors made unreasonable demands for assets and bank bonds before the release of funds.
The concessionaires unanimously stressed the need for the ports being constructed to be given the status of port of origin and destination and also to be registered with the International Chamber of Commerce upon completion.
NDE Disburses N9.3m Loan To 93 Farmers In Bauchi
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), says it has disbursed N9.3 million to 93 small holder farmers to boost animal and crop production in Bauchi State.
Mr Mbata Michael, Director, Rural Employment Promotion Department, NDE Headquarters, disclosed this at a 5-day agricultural extension training for the beneficiaries, on Thursday in Bauchi.
Michael, represented by Mr Farouk Farouk, Senior Rural Employment Promotion Officer, said that each of the beneficiaries received N100,000 loan to increase their productions.
He said that the facility was part of programmes initiated by the Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, to encourage crop and animal productions.
“The facility has a six months moratorium period before commencement of repayment and it will be repaid within 30 months.
“It is designed for farmers in different areas, those in commercial farming trying to sustain their businesses and those who are likely to start up agricultural businesses.
“Many of them are doing one or two things in agriculture and the money is to augment their businesses,” he said.
The director urged the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the facility to expand their businesses.
One of the beneficiaries, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, commended the gesture, adding that it would boost crop and livestock production in the state.
Meanwhile, the NDE’s State Coordinator, Mr Lawan Yaya, said the directorate had concluded arrangements to train 50 agricultural extension workers in the 20 local government areas of the state.
Yaya said the exercise was to complement Federal Government’s efforts towards encouraging agricultural production through improved farmer support services
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