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NASS goes against 30% export expansion grant

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More than four years after the former President, Goodluck Jonathan suspended issuance of 30 per cent Export Expansion Grant (EEG) to exporters, the House of Representatives has advised the Federal Government to maintain the suspension, saying it remains a conduit pipe for bleeding government revenue.

Only last week, the Senate passed a resolution to investigate the loss of revenues generated by the Nigerian Customs Service despite the fact that the Service no longer receive EEG certificate for revenue payment.

The lawmakers are working ahead of hints that the present government may have concluded plans to return the scheme again.

It would be recalled that related abuses had earlier led former President Olusegun Obasanjo to investigate the scheme which led to the refund of billions of naira by culpable exporters.

The lawmakers however said the suspension of the scheme was to avoid substantial loss of revenue to the government without achieving the objectives outlined in the policy since it was not properly administered in the past.

They said the suspension became imperative because the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah has met with over 200 exporters to herald the resumption of the scheme this month.

The decision of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a motion by Sadiq Ibrahim (APC, Adamawa), who recalled that the scheme was intensely investigated by a Committee headed by the late Waziri Mohammed during the administration of President Obasanjo, following which some exporters were made to refund billions of naira to the government coffers.

 “Rather than boosting exportation of goods, the scheme created more naira billionaires who specialised in exploiting the inherent weaknesses of the scheme to the detriment of genuine exporters,” Ibrahim said.


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