The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), says the Free Trade Zones (FTZs) scheme generated a total of N35.1 billion for the government as customs duty in 2021.
The Authority said about N408.3 million was also remitted as Pay As You Earn (PAYE) taxes in 2021.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, the Managing Director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, NEPZA, said it ensured effective generation of customs duty and administration of taxes applicable in the zones operations.
NAN reports that PAYE tax is one of the vital types of taxes in Nigeria that individuals pay to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) within their respective state of residence.
Section 19 of NEPZA Act mandates FTZs enterprises to file returns for statistics and data, while Section 8 stipulates that enterprises operating in zones should be exempted from federal, state and local government taxes.
However, they are under obligations to pay all deferred taxes and duties when they extend their businesses to the customs territories.
The Nigerian government adopted the FTZ scheme and created NEPZA as a viable revenue option to reduce over-dependence on the downstream sector.
The NEPZA boss further said the scheme also generated a total of 19,125 employments in 2021, while about 3,000 jobs skills have so far been transferred to Nigerians.
He also explained that the Federal Government approved the establishment of the Special Economic Zones Security (SEZSEC) to be operated by NEPZA.
He said it was for the very reason of creating a viable revenue option to reduce over-dependence on the downstream sector that the Nigerian government adopted the FTZ scheme and created NEPZA with an Act 63 of the parliament in 1992 to regulate and manage it.
“I can confidently say that the authority has done well in the actualisation of its mandate.
“We have experienced a turnaround in the last seven years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as he continues to show commitment and passion through the Federal Government’s unflinching support for the success of the scheme.
“For instance, in 2017, the present administration buttressed the role of special economic zones in Nigeria’s industrialisation agenda under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP),” he said.
He said the SEZ model was used to accelerate implementation of the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP), a four-year road map on industrialisation to create jobs and promote exports, which in turn would facilitate economic growth.
“The successes and prospects of the scheme have been in the last few years made manifest as a result of the entrants of private investors,” Adesugba said. (NAN)