Flutterwave, Emzor, 22 others file applications
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) granted tax holiday to 17 companies under its Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI) programme in the first quarter of this year, New Telegraph has learnt. NIPC, however, noted that the approvals-in-principle granted to the companies in the first quarter of this year are subject to the payment of application fees and only take effect after the payment of such fees. A pioneer status incentive grants companies making investments in qualifying industries and products a tax holiday of three years from the payment of company income tax.
The three-year tax holiday has the possibility of an extension for one or two additional years to enable the industry concerned to make a reasonable level of profit within its formative years. The beneficiary compa-nies include African Foundries Limited, a manufacturing company, which is said to have invested N4.1 billion in the business. Others are De – Santiago Milano Hotel Limited with N1.4 billion investment; Premium Aquaculture Limited, which has invested N711 million; Cormat (Nigeria) Limited with N3.8 billion investment; Tosett Agro Industries Limited, N4.8 billion investment; and Tiamin Rice Limited with N3.8 billion investment.
The list also includes Resource Improvement and Manufacturing Company Limited; Global Alliance for Chemical Industries Limited; Mesta Wood Services Limited; Outsource Global Limited; JMG Limited; Al-Wabel Rice Mills Limited; West African Cubes Limited; Wintess Garden & Suites Limited; West African Soy Industries Limited; Kam Steel Integrated Company Limited; and Tiloc Nigeria Limited. According to NIPC’s Q1’21 PSI report, the 17 firms have so far invested a total of N99.4 billion and have a total of 4,026 employees. Aside from the new applicants, the Commission said five companies had also filed for an extension of their tax holiday within the period under review. In total, 132 applications for tax holidays are said to be pending as of March-end. Within the period, NIPC said it granted PSI extension requests to eight companies.
These include Fouani Nigeria Limited; Nosak Farm Produce Limited; Momas Electricity Meters Manufacturing Company Limited; Fabcom Structural Limited; First Concept and Properties Limited; Speciality Pulp & Paper Limited; Indorama Eleme Fertilizer and Chemicals Limited; and PNG Gas Limited. All the eight companies had their tax holiday extended by another two years.
The Commission disclosed that 24 firms including one of the lead ing tech startups in the country, Flutterwave, have applied for the PSI status in their respective industries. Some of the new applicants also include Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited; Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited; Sunshine Food Processing Concept Limited; Smart Meter Company Limited, among others. NIPC in the report stated that the number of companies currently benefitting from the tax incentive stood at 33. According to the Commission, the 33 companies have invested over N1 trillion in the economy and have over 6,000 employed staff. Some of the companies with massive investments include ATC Nigeria Limited, a telecom infrastructure company, which is said to have invested N260.3 billion and employed 197 people; Jabi Mall Development Company Limited with N123.7 billion investment and 170 employed staff. Meanwhile, the Federal Government had, in March this year, inaugu-rated a joint committee of staff of NIPC and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) on Pioneer Status Incentive (PSI).
The Committee was set up to review the current guidelines for administration of the PSI, validate the cost of the incentive to Nigeria, and recommend changes to the qualification and administration. Commenting on the move, NIPC’s Executive Secretary/ CEO, Ms. Yewande Sadiku, stated that the Commission understood the responsibility it shoulders in relation to administering the PSI and exercises great diligence in processing applications. On his part, the Executive Chairman, FIRS, Mr. Muhammad Nami, encouraged members of the committee to invest their energy in the exercise as it is a means to assist the government to achieve an enabling business environment, bearing in mind the responsibility of government to fund budgetary needs. In 2015, the Federal Government placed an administrative suspension on the processing and issuance of PSI.
The government, however, lifted the suspension in August 2017 and 27 new industries and products were included in the scheme. Since the lifting of the suspension, there has been increased participation of both indigenous and foreign investors in the scheme.