FG Urged To Expand Tax Waiver Probe To Include Tobacco Firms

The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has called on the Federal Government to broaden the scope of the planned investigation into tax waivers and grants that were arguably unfairly awarded to corporations by previous administrations.
CAPPA specifically urges the inclusion of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) awarded to tobacco companies in this scrutiny.
The EEG scheme, designed by the Federal Government as a post-shipment incentive, aimed to stimulate indigenous exporters to enhance their export volume and value on a global scale.
CAPPA issued this call in response to the House of Representatives’ resolution to investigate all tax waivers granted since 2015, coupled with recent remarks by Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Tax Reforms and Fiscal Policy, who highlighted deficiencies in the administration of tax waivers.
While expressing support for the investigation, CAPPA emphasized the need to extend the inquiry to alleged dubious waivers granted to the tobacco industry dating back to 2003. The group emphasized that these waivers, coupled with the recognition and benefits accorded to the tobacco industry, are further complicated by the industry’s multifaceted impacts on public health and the environment.
Akinbode Oluwafemi, the Executive Director of CAPPA, asserted, “We demand a full and transparent inquiry into these shady waivers that have ripped the country of its revenues. Moreover, we are concerned about the benefits awarded to the tobacco industry under the Export Expansion Grant Scheme and other untoward agreements, which insult every Nigerian striving for a healthier and more equitable society.”
CAPPA highlighted that global health organizations and scientific research consistently underscore the severe health implications of tobacco consumption, linking it to various chronic diseases. By exempting the tobacco industry from its fair share of taxes, the Nigerian government unintentionally compromises public health and widens the country’s poverty gap.
Zikora Ibeh, CAPPA’s Policy and Research Officer, added, “These waivers and grants not only undermine our country’s fiscal responsibility but also tacitly endorse an industry that poses significant health risks, affecting many Nigerians.”
In line with this stance, CAPPA’s statement also advocated for an increase in taxes on tobacco products to curb consumption and protect public health.
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