The Federal Government has rejected the application of 10 companies seeking pioneer status under the Industrial Development Income Tax Act in Q1 2021.
The pioneer status is an incentive offered by the Federal Government, which exempts companies from paying income tax for a certain period. This tax exemption can be full or partial.
The incentive is generally regarded as an industrial measure aimed at stimulating investments into the economy.
The products or companies eligible for this pioneer status are products or industries that do not already exist in the country.
An analysis of the first quarter Pioneer Status Incentive report obtained from the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission showed that while the requests of 10 firms were denied, three companies had their applications approved-in-principle, while six firms were granted PSI for a three-year period.
The report also revealed that 33 firms are currently benefitting from the tax incentive scheme, while the requests of 132 companies were still pending.
The six companies that were granted a tax holiday between January and March are Pan African Towers Ltd, African Foundries Ltd, Aarti Rolling Mills Limited, Princess Medi-Clinics Nigeria Litd, Medlog Logistics Ltd and Tiamin Rice Ltd.
As of March 31 this year, these companies had invested N45.5m into the Nigerian economy.
Fountain Manufacturing Company Limited, Echostone Development Nigeria Limited, Al-Hamsad Rice Mill Limited, Benchmark Constructions Limited, Super Packaging Limited, Royal Foam Products Nigeria Limited, ENGIE Fenix Nigeria Limited, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Envoy Hotel Limited and Flutterwave Technology Solutions Limited are the 10 firms whose applications were rejected.
The businesses that the 10 companies are engaged in are soap manufacturing, real estate development, rice milling, manufacturing of woven sacks, production of mattresses, solar power generation, manufacturing of grain products and online payment services.
Further analysis of the NIPC report revealed that these companies were denied tax exemptions for various reasons, ranging from ineligibility of business activities for which incentives were sought to late submission of applications.
For instance, Echostone Development Nigeria Limited, a real estate development firm, had its application denied on March 29 because its contract project is not allowed under the Industrial Development Income Tax Relief Act.
Also, the applications of Fountain Manufacturing Company Limited and Super Packaging Limited were rejected as the activities for which the incentive was sought were not covered in the PSI scheme.
Benchmark Constructions Limited sent in its application in August 2019 but was denied tax relief because the documents provided by its management did not comply with the requirements for approval.
According to the report, Royal Foam Products Nigeria Limited, a mattress manufacturing firm and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, a manufacturer of grain products were denied tax exemptions because their expansion projects were not eligible under IDITRA.
The report further revealed that the Federal Government declined the applications of the remaining four companies because they sent their applications after the time window allowed for submission had closed.
These companies are Al-Hamsad Rice Mill Limited, ENGIE Fenix Nigeria Limited, Envoy Hotel Limited and Flutterwave Technology Solutions Limited.
The Executive Secretary, NIPC, Yewande Sadiku, had said that the commission had entered into multiple partnerships with the private sector to harness potential investments in the country.
She noted that the NIPC was working with key stakeholders to ensure that more Nigerians invest in the country.
According to her, there are huge investment opportunities in agriculture, transportation, solid minerals and manufacturing sectors of the economy and the government is working to boost the country’s rating in the area of ease of doing business.