By Ossom Raphael
The Federal Government has lifted the administrative suspension on processing Pioneer Status Incentives (PSI) applications.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, who announced the release of new guidelines on Monday in Abuja said that the action is coming after the conclusion of critical reforms of the incentive regime.
The Minister also announced a revamped list of pioneer industries and products
According to the Minister, the lifting of the suspension, a new guideline and a revamped Pioneer list covers an addition of 27 key industries and deletion of two industries saying that new guidelines will be reviewed biennially.
“In line with the reform provisions, all additions will be added to the list immediately, and all deletions will be removed from the list in 3 years,” Enelamah said.
While explaining that the review is in line with economic realities of Nigeria and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), Enelamah said “the Federal Government is committed to encouraging and attracting investments into critical sectors of the economy which will significantly impact development and deliver key benefits to the country.
“These benefits include Economic Growth and Diversification; Industrial and Sectoral Development; Employment; Skills and Technology Transfer; Export Development; and Import Substitution.” Enelamah further said
Speaking also, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) Ms Yewande Sadiku, stated that “The reforms have brought further clarity, predictability and process efficiency to the PSI regime. We will continue the reform process as we plan to take the PSI application process online. We will also engage with relevant stakeholders with a view to updating the existing legislations.”
In September 2015, the Federal Government had suspended the processing of PSI applications to allow for a comprehensive review and reform of the incentive regime aimed at increasing transparency and process efficiency, better articulating the expected economic benefits, and improve government’s ability to measure the impact of the incentive.
The new application guidelines provide information on the considerations for assessing new PSI and extension applications. It further outlines the application processes and timelines. It also details the ongoing obligations of beneficiaries.
The PSI grants companies making investments in qualifying industries and products a tax holiday from the payment of company income tax for an initial period of three years, with the possibility of an extension for one or two additional years.
An industry or product is designated as pioneer if it is not being carried on in Nigeria on a scale suitable to the economic requirements of the country or not at all; or where there are favourable prospects for further development; or if it is expedient in the public interest to encourage the development and establishment of an industry in Nigeria.