FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE REVISED IMPORT GUIDELINES, PROCEDURES AND DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE DESTINATION INSPECTION SCHEME IN NIGERIA

Pursuant to the Federal Government’s decision for a seamless transfer of the Destination Inspection Scheme for imports from the Scanning Service Providers (SSPs) to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with effect from 1st December 2013, robust guidelines, procedures and documentation regime shall be enthroned to enhance the integrity of the system.

A.GUIDELINES:

1.Any person intending to import physical goods into Nigeria shall in the first instance process e-Form ‘M’ through any Authorized Dealer Bank irrespective of the value and whether or not payment is involved.

2.The initial validity period of an approved e-Form ‘M’ for general merchandise shall be 180 days, which may be extended by another 180 days by the Authorized Dealer Bank. For capital goods, the initial validity of an approved e-Form ‘M’ shall be 365 days’ subject to a maximum extension of another 365 days. However, any subsequent request for revalidation of e-Form ‘M’ shall be forwarded to the Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Central Bank of Nigeria, for consideration.

3.Supporting documents shall be clearly marked “VALID FOR FOREX” or “NOT VALID FOR FOREX” as appropriate i.e. whether or not foreign exchange remittance would be involved.

4.All applications for e-form ‘M’ for goods subject to Destination Inspection shall carry the “BA” code, while those exempted shall include “CB” in the prefix of the numbering system of the e-form ‘M’.  Payments for goods exempted from Destination Inspection, under the Scheme, would not be carried out in the Foreign Exchange Market, without a prior approval from the Central Bank of Nigeria.  The list of goods exempted from Destination Inspection shall be as approved by the Honourable Minister of Finance.

5.The e-Form ‘M’ and the relevant pro-forma invoice (which shall have a validity period of three months) shall carry a proper description of goods to be imported to facilitate price verification viz;

i.Generic product name i.e. product type, category;

ii.Mark or brand name of the product, where applicable;

iii.Model name and/or model or reference number, where applicable;

iv.Description of the quality, grade, specification, capacity, size, performance, etc;

v.Quantity and packaging and/or packing.

6.e-Form ‘M’ shall be valid for importation only after registration by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).  Consequently, Authorized Dealer Banks are to confirm registration of the e-Form ‘M’ before proceeding with other import processes.

7.Documents in respect of each import transaction shall carry the name of the product, country of origin, specifications, date of manufacture, batch or lot number, Standards to which the goods have been produced (e.g. NIS, British Standards PD. ISO, IES, Din, etc).

8.All goods to be imported into the country shall be labeled in ENGLISH in addition to any other language of transaction; otherwise the goods shall be confiscated.

9.Where import items such as food, drinks, cosmetics, drugs, medical devices, chemicals, etc. are required for health or environmental reasons, they shall carry EXPIRY dates or the shelf life (minimum of half shelf life at the time of importation) and specify the active ingredients, where applicable.

10.Electrical appliances (fluorescent lamps, electric bulbs, electric irons and ties, etc) shall carry information on life performance, while cables shall carry information on the ratings.

11.All electronic equipment and instruments shall carry:

i.Instructions Manual;

ii.Safety information and/or safety signs;

iii.A guaranty/warranty of at least six months.

12.Importation of products not properly labeled shall automatically qualify for seizure and destruction, without warning and subject to prosecution.

13.Any false or fraudulent misrepresentation of facts will result in impoundment/seizures.

14.All imports into the country shall be accompanied by the following documents:

a.Combined Certificate of Value and Origin (CCVO), which shall contain the following information.

i.e-Form ‘M’ No;

ii.Adequate description of goods;

iii.Port of destination. (the actual port shall be specified e.g. Tin-Can, Apapa, Kano, Onne, etc);

iv.Shipment identification, date of shipment, Country of Origin, Country of Supply.

b.Final/Commercial Invoice

c.Packing List.

d.Shipped/Clean on Board Bill of Lading/Airway Bill/Railway Bill/Road Waybill.

e.Manufacturer’s Certificate of production, the Phytosanitary Certificate or Chemical Analysis Report, which shall state standards, where applicable, should be made available.

f.      Laboratory test certificates for chemicals, foods, beverages, pharmaceuticals, electrical appliances and other regulated products, where applicable.

15.The following procedures shall be adopted for payments:

i.Letters of Credit transactions: All negotiating documents and/or shipping documents (as may be applicable), must be routed from the Beneficiary/Supplier through his/her bank to the issuing bank. For the avoidance of doubt, on no account must a bank endorse or pay on documents that do not comply with the routing outlined above.

ii.For Bills for Collection transactions, documents must be routed to the issuing bank either directly from the supplier’s bank or through the offshore correspondence of the issuing bank.

iii.For ‘Not Valid’ for foreign exchange transactions, the supplier should forward the documents directly to the applicant bank that validates the e-Form ‘M’.

16.For transactions with Post Landing charges, a retention fee of 5-15% of the project cost as agreed between the importer and the overseas supplier shall be indicated on both the Contract Agreement and the Pro-forma invoice, which shall form part of the supporting documents for the registration of relevant e-Form ‘M’.  In addition,

i.The stated fees shall not be remitted until a satisfactory evaluation of the project has been undertaken by the Industrial Inspectorate Department of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment.

ii.The Authorized Dealer Bank shall forward to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment (Industrial Inspectorate Department) and Trade and Exchange Department Central Bank of Nigeria, copies of the Contract Agreement and Pro-forma invoice(s) of such projects for monitoring purposes.

iii.The Nigeria Customs Service shall take cognizance of the value of shipment and Post Landing charges as would have been indicated on the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR).

iv.The Industrial Inspectorate Department, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment shall thereafter carry out an evaluation of the project and advise the Central Bank of Nigeria, accordingly.

v.On receipt of the report of the evaluation from the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment (Industrial Inspectorate Department), the Central Bank of Nigeria shall advise NCS on the issuance of PAAR in respect of the retained value and the Authorized Dealer Bank advised to remit same to the beneficiary.

17.Buying Commission: The percentage of buying commission to be paid to agents or confirming house acting as intermediary between importers and exporters is subject to a maximum of 2% of the FoB value of the consignment, where applicable.

B.IMPORT PROCEDURES

1.Duly completed e-Form ‘M’ shall be submitted electronically to an Authorized Dealer Bank with the following attached documents: 

a)Profoma Invoice

b)Insurance Certificate

c)Regulatory Certificate/Permits (e.g. NAFDAC, SON, DPR, NPQS, etc)

2.However, the originals of the Documents listed in (1) above should be submitted to the processing bank prior to validation.

3.Upon receipt of duly completed and submitted copy of the e-Form ‘M’ from the importer, the Authorized Dealer Bank shall:

a)ensure that the e-Form ‘M’ is duly completed;

b)compare the attached documents with the original;

c)carry out proper Know-Your-Customer (K-Y-C) and be satisfied that all the relevant documents forwarded are genuine.

d)after completion of (a) to (c), the bank shall validate and transmit the e-Forms ‘M’, to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) 

C.RESPONSIBILITIES OF NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE

Upon receipt of the e-Form ‘M’ with other necessary pre-import documents, NCS shall:

1.Carry out a preliminary review of the application, using information provided therein and accept or reject the e-Form ‘M’ within one working day.

2.If “ACCEPTED”, NCS shall register the e-Form ‘M’ on the system.

3.However, if the e-Form ‘M’ is “REJECTED”, NCS shall state reason(s) for rejection and the e-Form ‘M’ automatically returned for necessary rectification.

4.After registration of the e-Form ‘M’ and the receipt of the Final Import documents from the Authorized Dealer Banks, NCS shall generate Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) within six (6) hours.

5.Shall coordinate the Mandatory Joint Examination and sign-off Form within Official working hours, including Saturdays.

6.Shall circulate cargo manifests to other examination agencies, as soon they are received to enable enough time for risk assessment and profiling.

7.Shall strengthen Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) to accommodate more agencies.

D.RESPONSIBILITIES OF IMPORTER

1.It shall be the duty of the importer to ensure that the supplier makes available the pro-forma invoice(s) in accordance with the imports procedure of the country.  As a result, there must be no ambiguity in the description of the goods.

2.The importer shall also ensure that all the documents to be forwarded to the Authorized Dealer Bank are genuine and verifiable.

3.The importer shall ensure that Final Documents are forwarded to the Authorized Dealer Bank by the Supplier before the arrival of the goods/consignment to facilitate quick clearance

4.All the requirements listed under the imports procedure must be complied with before documents are submitted to the Authorized Dealer Bank.

5.Upon registration of the e-Form ‘M’ by NCS, the importer shall advise the supplier to arrange for the shipment of the goods.

E.RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE SUPPLIER

i.On consignment of goods for shipment, the overseas supplier shall make available two sets each, of original Combined Certificate of Value and Origin (CCVO); Transport documents (Bill of Lading, Airway Bill, Road Waybill, etc) and Packing list to his/her bank.

ii.On receipt of the documents listed in (i) above, the supplier’s bank shall forward them through the relevant correspondent bank to the Nigerian Authorized Dealer Bank for Letters of Credit transactions. 

iii.For transactions requiring the issuance of Certificate of Capital Importation and/or those involving supplier’s credit, documents shall be forwarded by the supplier’s bank to the Nigerian bank.

iv.In the case of Bills for Collection transactions, two sets of original documents should be forwarded to the Nigerian Authorized Dealer Bank through the supplier’s bank or the offshore correspondent bank of the processing bank.

v.For transactions “Not-valid for foreign exchange” two sets of original documents should be forwarded by the supplier directly to the bank that validates the e-Form ‘M’.

 

F.RESPONSIBILITIES OF AUTHORIZED DEALER BANKS:

1.Upon receipt of the documents listed in (E) above the Authorized Dealer Banks shall endorse and upload them to Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) system for issuance of PAAR. 

2.For remittance in respect of imports, only the amount on the CCVO/Commercial Invoice/Final Invoice shall be remitted.

3.Carry out proper Know-Your-Customer (K-Y-C) and be satisfied that all the relevant documents forwarded are genuine. 

4.Authorised Dealer Banks are to ensure that shipping documents are received within 21 days after shipment and should retain evidence for the purpose of monitoring by CBN. 

5.However, Authorised Dealer Banks are to refer any policy issue of which they are in doubt to the Director, Trade and Exchange Department for clarification in accordance with the provisions of Memorandum 27 (x) of the Foreign Exchange Manual.

G.RESPONSIBILITIES OF NIGERIAN PORTS AUTHORITY (NPA)

1.Shall receive cargo manifests from shipping Lines before the ship leave the Last Port of Call and circulate to other Regulatory Agencies for risk assessment and profiling.

 

2.Shall be responsible for Traffic Management of vessels.

 

3.Shall ensure Pilotage of vessels.

 

 

H.RESPONSIBILITIES OF SHIPPING LINES AND OTHER CARRIERS

1.It shall be the responsibility of Shipping lines and other carriers to ensure that all goods being consigned for shipment to Nigeria are covered by appropriate e-Form ‘M’.

2.The e-Form ‘M’ number MUST be reflected on the Bill of Lading, Airway Bill or Roadway bill for such goods.

3.An advance summary of the manifest of the cargoes must be made available to the NCS electronically immediately the vessel departs the last port of call.

4.Shipping Lines shall transmit to NCS and NPA cargo manifests before leaving the last Port of Call.

5.Shipping Lines shall ensure that Nigeria bound containerized cargo are palletized.

I.SANCTIONS

1.Shipping Lines and other Carriers that failed to adhere strictly to palletize containerized cargo shall be asked to take back onboard the non-palletized cargo;

2.Shipping Lines and other Carriers that failed to transmit cargo manifest, shall be denied berthing right (Pilotage) by NPA

 

J.IMPORT DUTY PAYMENT

1.Importers shall continue to pay an administrative charge of 1% of FoB value of all imports based on the exchange rate on the approved e-Form ‘M’.

2.All imports shall continue to be assessed for duty at the C.I.F. value of the goods using the rate of exchange on the approved e-Form ‘M’.

3.It shall be the duty of the importer’s bank through which the e-Form ‘M’ was processed to collect the amount of import duty as assessed, if it is a Designated Bank. However, for e-Form ‘M’ transactions processed by non-Designated Bank, payment of import duty shall be at any of the Designated Banks, while a copy of the duty payment receipt shall be made available to the processing bank by the importer.

4.For transactions in respect of dutiable personal effects payment of duty can be made at any preferred Designated Bank.

5.The Designated Bank will match printed assessment notice with the electronically received assessment notice for the Single Goods Declaration (SGD). If the information tallies, the bank will receive payments and issue signed Bank receipt.

6.The Designated Bank shall send an e-confirmation message to NCS acknowledging receipt of duty and taxes in respect of the SGD.

7.All payments shall continue to be electronically transferred daily by Designated Banks to the respective pool accounts with CBN, failing which necessary sanctions shall apply.

8.Import Duty Dispute Resolution Mechanism  

Dispute arising from import duty payment shall be resolved through the following processes:

i.Any discrepancy on declaration shall be entered into Inspection Act and appropriately modified.

ii.If dispute persist, the importer shall be allowed to carry his goods on bank guarantee.

iii.Importer shall thereafter apply for a tariff/valuation decision.  

iv.If not satisfied with the decision, the importer may appeal to the World Customs Organization (WCO), Honourable Minister of Finance, Federal Republic of Nigeria and any Court of competent jurisdiction for redress 

K.DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS FOR IMPORT PAYMENTS UNDER THE DESTINATION INSPECTION SCHEME

1.Confirmed Letter of Credit

i.Registered e-Form ‘M’

ii.Combined Certificate of Value and Origin (CCVO)

iii.Manufacturer’s Certificate with standards adopted stated thereon.

iv.Clean/Shipped on Board Bill of Lading/Airway bill/Roadway bill.

v.Final/Commercial Invoice

vi.Packing List

vii.Letter of Credit instrument.

2.Bills for Collection Transactions

i.Registered e-Form ‘M’

ii.SGD print out

iii.PAAR

iv.CCVO

v.Manufacturer’s Certificate

vi.Shipped / Clean on Board Bill of Lading/Airways Bill / Road waybill.

vii.Final/Commercial Invoice.

viii.Import Duty Payment receipt with SGD No. stated thereon.

ix.Bill history

x.Bill of exchange.

xi.Tally Sheet/Gate Pass.

xii.Packing List.

j.DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED BY THE IMPORTER TO THE PROCESSING BANK AFTER CLEARANCE OF GOODS:

i.Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR).

ii.Single Goods Declaration (SGD) Print out.

iii.CCVO

iv.Packing List.

v.Import Duty Payment receipt with the SGD number clearly stated thereon.

vi.Manufacturer’s Certificate with Standards adopted stated thereon.

vii.Laboratory/Phytosanitary Test Certificate for chemicals, food, beverages, etc.

viii.Terminal Delivery Order/Gate Pass.

ix.Bill of Lading/Airway Bill/Road Waybill, etc

x.DPR Product Certificate for Petroleum products

xi.SONCAP Certificate for SON regulated products

K.CLEARANCE PROCEDURES

1.Preparation of Single Goods Declaration (SGD):

a.Declarants prepare the SGD with information derived from relevant documents e.g. Final Invoice, CCVO, Bill of Lading/Air way Bill/Road waybill, Packing List, Permits (where necessary), Insurance, e-Form ‘M’, PAAR etc. 

b.The SGD is prepared using a Private/Public DTIs** and;

•Capture SGD Information

•Assess the SGD

•Print the SGD and Assessment Notice

**Direct Trader Input (DTI) is the unique procedure for submitting electronic declaration to Customs

Note:

•While capturing the SGD, specify the bank at which Customs Duty will be paid. It must be the bank indicated as the designated duty collection bank on the e-Form ‘M’.

•If e-Form ‘M’ is not required, as in the case of dutiable personal effects, Importer/Agent can pay at any preferred designated bank.

•Take extreme care that the correct designated bank code as indicated on the e-Form ‘M’ is captured to enable the system send the Assessment Notice to the appropriate bank.

•After capturing the SGD correctly the Assessment option should be selected, an electronic message will be sent to the designated bank with details of what should be paid as customs duty and other charges.

2.Payment at Bank

a.The Importer/Agent proceeds to the designated bank with the system generated Assessment Notice

b.The Designated bank will match printed assessment notice with the electronically received assessment notice for the SGD. If the information tallies, the bank will receive payments and issue signed bank’s receipt.

c.The bank then sends an e-confirmation message to NCS acknowledging receipt of duty and taxes in respect of the SGD

3.Customs Control

At the customs control, the release of consignment will be subject to selectivity of the Custom’s Automated Risk Management System after payment of duty.

4.Request for Release:

a.After payment of import duties and other charges at the bank, Importer/Agent will request for Customs release through DTI

b.NCS will release after Scanning or Physical examination.

5.Release of Consignment by Terminal Operator (T/O)

After Customs have cleared the consignment Terminal Operators shall issue Exit Note to NCS.

6.In the case of personal effects, the applicant shall forward relevant documents to the Nigeria Customs Service. However, where dutiable goods are found to be in excess of the approved passenger concession, they shall be liable to the clearance procedure applicable to commercial goods.

 

 

 

TRADE RELATIONS DIVISION

HOME FINANCE DEPARTMENT

FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE

CENTRAL AREA, ABUJA

DECEMBER, 2017

MINISTER OF FINANCE AT THE PLATFORM, SAYS FG BUILDING A PRODUCTIVE, INCLUSIVE NIGERIAN ECONOMY

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, has said that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is building a productive Nigerian economy for a sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

The Minister said this while speaking on Sunday at “The Platform” hosted by the Covenant Christian Centre, Lagos.

She said that the Federal Government was calling for greater focus on the productive sectors of the economy to drive inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the country.

She said: “while mistakes have been made in the past, this administration is looking ahead and laying the ground work to build a resilient economy that is not vulnerable to boom and bust cycles.”

Other speakers at the event included, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, Professor of Economics Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Abdulraheem Garba, and Chief Economist & Financial Analyst PWC, Andrew Nevin.  Others were Prince Bimbo Olashore and Mrs.  Nimi Akinkugbe.

The Minister noted that Government revenue remains overly reliant on oil and we must use oil revenue to develop and diversify the economy, not just sustain consumption.

She pointed out that “While oil proceeds have represented between 50 percent and 70 percent of Federal Government revenue over the past 3 years, it has contributed 10% or less to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the same period”. 

Mrs. Adeosun emphasised that “we must change our growth model to deliver inclusive and sustainable growth by broadening the range of our economic activities in the production and distribution of goods and services.”

She said that the Federal Government wants to create jobs for the people and to do this, we must look beyond the extractive industry. We must invest across the value chain in Agriculture, Construction, Manufacturing and Trade to localise production, processing and distribution. This will create jobs, drive innovation and support knowledge transfer to local businesses.

Adeosun said, “Our focus is on activities that are value adding to the economy to ensure long-term stability. The infrastructure that we build to facilitate power and transportation will be vital in achieving diversification and economic growth. We are focused on addressing the challenges we face to deliver services to our people”.

The Government is investing in massive domestic fertilizer production, making it cheaper to grow the food we need and raw materials to support moribund industries. We are also investing in rail - making it quicker and cheaper to get produce across the country. Our pilot programme has shown that we can reduce the cost of food if we can move it across the country faster.

The Minister noted that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are critical to broadening our revenue base and we must make it easier for them to do business. 

“We will increase our support for innovation and entrepreneurship.  Our people are our greatest assets and we must invest in them to build human capital”, she said.

We are also looking very closely at broadening our tax base and improving tax compliance to increase Government revenue: “We have an unacceptably low level of non-oil revenue, and much of that is driven by a failure to collect tax revenues. With a tax to GDP ratio of only 6%, one of the lowest levels in the world, we have a lot of work to do if we are going to build a sustainable revenue base that will deliver inclusive growth”.

We are going to focus on tax in 2017. We will improve our tax to GDP ratio, block leakages and increase compliance. We would also introduce taxes on luxury items and excise duties on tobacco and alcohol.

The Minister explained to the audience that:  “More diversified economy would reduce revenue volatility in the long term, encourage more inclusive growth and reduce inequality. With increased Government revenue, we can invest further and faster, delivering further improvements in 2017 and beyond.”

FG CLEARS N54 BILLION PENSION BACKLOG

Concerned about the plight of pensioners who retired under the Contributory Pension Scheme without being paid, the Federal Government has cleared the inherited arrears of accrued pension benefit for the year 2014, 2015 and 2016 by releasing N41.5 billion to the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) for onward payment to the retirees, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun has disclosed.

The Minister also announced that the sum of N12.5 billion being outstanding for January, February and March 2017 has been settled based on 2016 appropriation, bringing the tally to over N54 billion.

"Despite conflicting demands for available cash, President Muhammadu Buhari has always expressed concern about the plight of workers and pensioners. Consistent with this, we have released N41.5 billion which clears the arrears inherited from the previous administration relating to the period 2013-15 and underpayments in 2016. This will bring relief to thousands of our elders who have served and deserve to be paid their entitlements promptly and fully,” Mrs. Kemi Adeosun emphasised.

The N41, 566, 565, 184 released to PENCOM was the outstanding appropriated for the year 2014 and 2016 by the National Assembly for the settlement of the retirement benefits of Federal Government employees.

She explained further that “the amount we paid includes arrears and the impact is that those who retired as far back as 2013, who had been unable to access pension under the contributory scheme due to non-payment, will now be paid.”

To avoid future accumulation of pension arrears, Mrs. Adeosun assured that henceforth “the monthly allocation to the PENCOM based on the appropriation of 2017 will regularly be paid along with monthly salaries of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).”

FEDERAL MINISTRY OF FINANCE REBUTS ALLEGATION OF US$2 MILLION PR CONSULTANCY

The attention of the Federal Ministry of Finance has been drawn to an inaccurate report by one Simon Ateba of an online publication, the Simon Ateba News, to the effect that the Ministry has hired a United Kingdom-based Public Relations Consultant for  US$2 million (N800 million) monthly. This claim is clearly false, malicious and devoid of professionalism as no attempt was made to contact the Minister for input to the story.

The Public Relations firm, Africa Practice which has an operational office and Nigerian staff in Lagos, has been retained by the Federal Government for N28, 975,000 only for three years on the approval of the Federal Executive Council in November 2016 to work for the Debt Management Office as part of the Eurobond programme alongside Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Citibank, WHITE & CASE LLP and Banwo & Ighodalo. This followed a competitive tender that was advertised in International and Local newspapers, including the Federal Tenders Journal. Due process was fully followed in the exercise, the outcome of which was publicly announced earlier this year.

The key criteria used in the evaluation of the Technical Bids  submitted by the appointed transaction partners including Africapractice were  company track record and credentials; evidence of valid licence to operate in the market or jurisdiction in which they are domiciled; global presence, transaction history with the Federal Government or any of its agencies; experience in similar transactions in the international capital market and quality of marketing and distribution strategy for the Eurobond programme.

The representative of Africa Practice was in Washington DC in continuation of the Eurobond programme and in support of the country’s outreach with international investors who showed great enthusiasm to do business with Nigeria.

However, the false story has not dimmed the successful participation of the Nigerian delegation in the World Bank and IMF Spring meetings, nor questioned the obvious gains made by Nigeria in the course of the meetings as widely reported by correspondents of Nigerian media houses that covered the meetings.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, has always appreciated the contribution of Nigerian journalists, whom she hold in high esteem, for the coverage they gave to the activities of the Nigerian delegation to the Spring Meetings in Washington DC and at home.

ADEOSUN TAKES ECONOMIC REFORM AGENDA TO WORLD BANK SPRING MEETINGS

Calls for greater African and international collaboration on illicit financial flows to drive accelerated revenue growth and improved government efficiency.

The Honourable Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, is in Washington DC this week, attending the World Bank and IMF Spring Meetings. The Minister is participating in a range of events focused on different aspects of the Federal Government’s economic reform agenda. At her opening event on Monday, she gave an address to the Global Parliamentary Conference, alongside parliamentarians from around the world, focused on Nigeria’s economic reform agenda and the need for strong executive and legislative collaboration.

Addressing senior representatives from the World Bank and IMF, as well as over 150 parliamentarians the Minister called for greater focus on collaboration in illicit financial flows from Africa as a core pillar of the government’s strategy to significantly enhance domestic government revenue and deliver sustainable economic growth.

“The government is focused on resetting the Nigerian economy by addressing our traditional over-reliance on oil revenues and establishing the basis for sustainable non-oil revenue growth. To improve non-oil revenues, we have to address illicit capital flows. When stolen money is transferred from Nigeria, or other African countries, there are too few questions asked by those countries that receive the funds, but when we identify those funds as stolen and seek to recover them, there are too many questions being asked. There is money sitting in foreign bank accounts that we have spent over a decade trying to recover. That is money that could deliver significant value for Nigeria as we seek to increase spending on critical infrastructure and establish a basis for long term sustainable growth. I hope that the Automatic Exchange of Information scheme coming into force next year will be a step towards achieving greater transparency, but we need more collaboration amongst parliamentarians in Africa, and across the World to ensure that this situation improves and that recipient countries are held to account.”

Commenting on the domestic agenda to ensure significant reductions in ‘leakages’ of public funds, and improved efficiency in public expenditure, the Minister said:

“We are going after those who have stolen our money. We have put in place a very successful whistle blower programme that is delivering results, and allows those who report illicit activity to receive up to 5% of any funds that we recover. We are also significantly improving our financial management controls to ensure that it is considerably more difficult for public funds to be diverted. We have to do more though and that means collaboration with the legislature. We need tighter tax and financial reporting legislation and to ratify bilateral agreements so that our enforcement agencies are empowered to deliver the results that we need.”

The Minister will be attending a series of meetings over the coming days, including meetings with the World Bank to take forwards conversations about lending into strategic sectors of the economy as part of the administration’s focus on addressing Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit and accelerating implementation of critical projects.

“To create the basis for long term growth, we need to invest urgently in our infrastructure. Achieving energy sufficiency and achieving agriculture and food security are two of the execution priorities we have identified in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and we are looking forward to advancing our ongoing conversations with multilateral lenders on these priorities over the coming days as we look to accelerate implementation.”

 

The Minister will also speak at fora on how to improve Nutrition and how to close the Financing Gap for Water Resources.