Figures from the NBS show that Nigeria earned a total of ₦275.12 billion from Value Added Tax in the third quarter of 2019. The earnings represent a decline of ₦36.82 billion from the ₦311.94 billion generated in the second quarter. During the period captured, the report said professional services generated the highest amount of VAT with ₦32.09 billion. This is closely followed by other manufacturing which generated ₦30.27 billion; while commercial and trading activities generated ₦14.47 billion. Mining generated the least and it was closely followed by textile and garment industry, pharmaceutical, soaps and toiletries with ₦44.30 million, ₦253.83 million and ₦291.06 million generated respectively. Out of the total amount generated in 2019, the report said, ₦150.74 billion was generated as Non-Import VAT locally while ₦63 billion was generated as Non-Import VAT for foreign. The balance of ₦61.37 billion was generated as NCS-Import VAT.
The importation of ceramic tiles into Nigeria, would reach $2.1 billion (over ₦761 billion) by 2025. A Professor of Ceramics Engineering, Patrick Oaikhinan, said that despite Nigeria’s potential growth for ceramics, its import bill was huge. He, however, said that the huge import bill was as a result of the gradual destruction of ceramics manufacturing in Nigeria, which was witnessed in the 1950s and 1980s when five multinational ceramic manufacturing companies located in different parts of the country went moribund. The ceramic industry was affected by focus on crude oil production, he said as there are nine operating ceramic companies in Nigeria, where eight for tiles and one for sanitary ware. They all operate under various capacities. Oaikhinan said that average production capacity is 40,000-45,000 square meter per day for the eight manufacturing companies combined. He urged the federal government to resuscitate the ailing Ceramic industries in the country by ensuring reliance on abundant local raw materials to substitute imported inputs; provision of funds to enhance production; ensuring a good management system, and provision of technical assistance through international bodies, amongst others.
The National Assembly has been asked to enact laws that would empower the FG to utilise monies in dormant bank accounts. A former Director General at the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Ladi Hamalai, currently serving at the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, made the request while speaking at a monthly Policy Dialogue on Funding Next Level in Abuja. She said the government could use such money to fund critical projects in the country, and claimed that advanced countries have such practices, where such monies are usually forfeited to government instead of banks. Hamalai added that the banking industry in Nigeria has been taking advantage of huge sums left in dormant accounts across the country to declare huge profits. Hamalai said attempt was made during her tenure as NILS DG to sponsor a bill on the subject at the National Assembly, but it failed.
The World Bank has said that Nigeria may become home to a quarter of the world’s destitute people in a decade unless policymakers act to revive economic growth and lift employment. By 2030, the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty could increase by more than 30 million, the bank said in its Nigeria Economic Update report published Monday. The World Bank projected economic expansion of 2.1 percent in 2020 and 2021, below the country’s 2.6 percent population growth rate. The World Bank exhorted President Buhari to increase domestic revenue, remove trade restrictions and improve the predictability of economic policy, and also called on the government to remove expensive petrol subsidies and reduce CBN lending to targeted sectors that crowds out banks. It added that about half of Nigeria’s almost 200 million people live in poverty as the country in 2018, overtook India as the country with the largest number of people in extreme poverty.