No fewer than 25 firms were granted tax waivers by the federal government under the pioneer certification incentive in 2019.
The names of the benefitting firms were published in the 2019 ‘Annual Report of Issued and Cancelled Pioneer Certificates.’ The report, by the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), covered January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2019.
The Commission said the report will soon be gazetted to ensure full compliance with the requirement of the Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act.
The incentive is considered an industrial measure to stimulate fresh investments in the economy.
With the waiver, benefiting companies are granted full or partial exemption from tax obligations for a certain period, to enable them get established.
The waiver is usually granted to companies operating in industries considered not sufficiently developed enough in Nigeria but have favourable prospects if encouraged with such pioneer status.
Four of the companies – Gowus Nigeria Limited, Lafarge Africa Plc, Edimara Properties Limited and Wacot Rice Limited – have certificates that will expire this year. Other certificates will expire at various times in 2021.
They include Royal Mills and Foods Limited, UVA Limited, Pinnacles Apartments Development Limited, Obu Cement Company Limited, Saba Steel Industries Nigeria Limited, Gowus Nigeria Limited, Fidson Healthcare Plc, Gowus Nigeria Limited, Lafarge Africa Plc, Edimara Properties Limited and Wacot Rice Limited.
Others include Tribon Aqua Africa Limited, Grand Pela Hotels, Globus Resources Limited, Karshi Agro Farms Limited, Crown Flour Mills Limited, Dharul Fertilizer Limited, Olam Hatcheries Limited, Harvestfield Industries Limited, and Jabi Mall Development Company Limited.
Also included are Power Gas Global Investment Limited, Polar Petrochemicals Limited, Royal Pacific Group Limited, Montego Upstream Services Limited, Dangote Sinotrucks West Africa and Hayat Nigeria Ltd.
Details of the report published on the commission’s website showed that 28 new applications were received during the period, while four others were for an extension.
Out of the number, 10 applications were granted approvals-in-principle, each for three years. The commission said the 10 companies, which have a combined staff strength of 1,162, made a total investment of about ₦251.3 billion in various sectors of the economy.
The sectors include manufacturing, real estate, agriculture/agro-allied, tourism, and oil and gas sectors.
The report indicated that eight other companies, with a total investment of ₦8.8 billion and staff strength of about 2,698, were granted extensions for two years.
The report said four companies were granted Pioneer Certificates with confirmed production dates.
During the reporting period, the commission said it declined approval for one application.
As of December 31, 2019, a total of 42 companies were still enjoying pioneer status incentives, while 34 applications were deemed abandoned and 118 others still pending.