The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is proposing zero duty for new vessels imported by indigenous shipping firms so as to grow the sector.
This is even as the Ministry of Transportation is also seeking approval of the federal government to grant tax waivers to players in the sector.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, while conveying the ministry’s position to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, in Abuja, reiterated the commitment of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi towards ensuring the growth of maritime in Nigeria.
The agency’s spokesman, Philip Kyanetl, in a statement said many governments around the globe had introduced massive tax reduction or elimination to spur activities in key sectors and rev up their economies during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Thus, the need for federal government-oriented programmes and stimulus packages to deliver a response that catalyses a sustainable economic development cannot be over-emphasized.”
The DG said the proposed incentives include zero import duty for brand new vessels imported by Nigerians or Nigerian shipping companies for use in foreign or domestic trade; 0.5% duty for vessels aged between one and five years intended for use in foreign or domestic trade; and 1% duty for vessels aged between five and eight years intended for use in foreign or domestic trade.
There was also a proposal for zero import duty for parts or components imported by Nigerian shipyards for local shipbuilding, which will be for an initial period of four years after which it can be reviewed by the government.