3RD NIGERIA DIASPORA INVESTMENT SUMMIT: We have provided Friendly Incentives for Diaspora Investment- FGN

Oru Leonard

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), has said it is constantly making efforts to create business friendly environment for various Investment in the country.
The Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo disclosed this while delivering his address at the virtual third Nigeria diaspora investment summit ,Friday in Abuja.

According to the VP, the proposed incentives include, reduction in duties on tractors from 35 to 10 per cent, reduction in duties on motor vehicles for the transportation of goods from 35 to 10 per cent,reduction of levy on motor vehicles for the transportation of persons (cars) from 35 per cent to 5 per cent, 50 per cent reduction in minimum tax; from 0.5 per cent to 0.25 per cent for gross turnover for financial years ending between January 1st, 2020 and December 31st, 2021 and granting of tax relief to companies that donated to the COVID-19 relief fund under the private sector coalition (CACOVID) and
Introduction of software acquisition as qualifying capital allowance.

“With regards to the provision for software acquisitions, the Vice President said “when companies acquire software for their company operations, in the past, that was treated as an overhead. Now we are going to treat it as a qualifying expenditure for tax deduction to improve the ease of doing business” Osibanjo explained.

“Last year, we passed a legislation giving small companies with a turnover of less than 25 million a year, tax exemption from the Companies Income Tax, while medium-sized companies with their turnover of between N25 million to a N100 million now pays Companies Income Tax at the lower rate of 20%. And then, services provided by Micro Finance Banks are completely exempted from VAT. So, no microfinance bank pays VAT now for its services. Withholding tax rates, also on roads, on bridges, on buildings, power plant construction contracts have been reduced from 5% to 2.5%.”

“what weave done in furthering our own economic policy is to attempt to make the fiscal environment as attractive as possible. What we have done is to use the instrumentality of the Finance Acts to make or propose significant reforms.”

In addition, the Vice President noted that “we also have a solar programme to make 5 million connections across the country. In other words, we are going to be putting 5 million Solar Home Systems across Nigeria that will service in all, about 25 million individuals.”

On government’s efforts to generate jobs and create opportunities for income generation through the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), Prof. Osinbajo said “in response, we designed an ambitious N2.3 trillion Economic Sustainability Plan and the focus of that plan is on creating jobs, first by the Mass Agriculture programme where already we have enumerated 5 million farmers and geo-tagged them to their farm lands.

“Also, a Mass Housing programme where we are building 300,000 homes in all States of the Federation using local materials and using small to medium-sized construction companies and using direct labour.

“All of these locally produced. The whole idea is to generate jobs, generate opportunities and income in every locality that we are functioning in.”

The VP commended the contributions of the Nigerian diaspora community in the development of the country and noted, “our diaspora is one of our most vital resources, a literarily endless reservoir for talent, trade, investment, tourism, education, culture and sport opportunities.

“But perhaps more important is the sheer range of well trained, honed and experienced talents that our diaspora represents. It is that potential not remittances that make our diaspora network an endless source of economic hope and social aspiration,” Prof. Osinbajo added.

He also commended the efforts of the CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, particularly in harnessing the resources and talents of Nigerians abroad.

Speaking during her opening remarks, the Chairman Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa said the aim of the summit is geared towards increasing diaspora investment in Nigeria.
“The objective of this summit is to establish a platform where Diaspora Investors can interact with potential sponsors, partners, collaborators and government agencies with a direct roundtable deals for mutual benefits”, she stated.

Abike who acknowledged that Nigerians in Diaspora are experiencing increased ease of doing business, added that the summit will strengthen investment profile, expand business network and provide an opportunity to showcase global best practices, provide opportunity to meet key decision makers and industry influencers, brand exposure and many more that will help in contributing to National development.

“As we are all aware, Nigeria is our country and it is important to bring together all expertise from various fields especially from the diaspora to develop Nigeria”, she noted.

In her welcome remarks, the Summit Coordinator, Dr Badewa Adejugbe-Williams said the virtual version of this year’s summit was prompted by the Corona Virus Pandemic and. expressed delight on the resilience of Nigerians in Diaspora and at home in seeing a new Nigeria that will bringing about national development to the country.

Dr Williams noted that event is a culmination of an enormous effort which began in the year 2018 with the aim of actualizing the Federal Government Economic Recovery growth plan in encouraging multichannel investment options, and in recognition of the Diaspora as being one of the best groups to connect with when designing strategies for attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

“The engagement of Nigerians in Diaspora in resurging the economy is more pertinent now as the post COVID-19 economy recovery plan requires global best practices for which the Diaspora are best suited.
In addition to being recognized as the source of significant resource flows to countries of origin or heritage through remittances, the Nigeria Diaspora need to be seen and should also be encouraged to see themselves as significant social investors in the development of the country”, she urged.

This virtual summit will showcase the investment opportunities available in these sectors and the development framework put in place to make investing in Nigeria more attractive to Nigeria Diaspora investors.
It is my belief that sustenance of this yearly event will continue to encourage the Diaspora community in giving them a sense of belonging to contribute their quota in enhancing productivity of the national economy, and in the immediate long run contribute towards the needed sustainable development of the country.

The 3rd Nigeria Diaspora Investment Summit convened by the Nigeria Diaspora Summit Initiative (NDSI), in collaboration with Nigerians in Diaspora Commission(NIDCOM) with the theme “Post-Covid EconomyResurgence: Targeting Diaspora Investment”.

The virtual summit focused on the following sectors: Healthcare; Education; Agribusiness; Creative, Entertainment & Sports; Telecommunication; ICT/Fintech; Manufacturing and Real Estate.

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