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NIMASA seeks tax review for vessel import by Nigerian shipowners

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Wednesday said it was working to ensure a review of vessel import taxes that Nigerian shipowners pay.

The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this at an interactive session with journalists, said the move was necessary for creation of favourable operational environment for indigenous shipowners, because foreigners usually paid lower taxes bringing in vessels.

“Apart from the fact that we are pushing for a special facility for ship owners to access at a single digit interest rate to acquire vessels, we are pushing for a different tax regime.
“Many foreigners when they are bringing vessels to Nigeria, they are not taxed as if that vessel is a new vessel. They are taxed as if the vessel will come into the country work for some time and leave, so, they have a lower tax regime. But when Nigerians are bringing in vessels they have a higher tax regime.
“We are saying that this is not going to make us competitive in the industry, because these foreigners bring in the vessels at a minimal tax regime so they can get away with many things. So we are saying please let us review this tax regime so that if a Nigerian is bringing in vessel, he is not taxed in such a way that he cannot compete in the industry,” Dr. Peterside said.
The NIMASA DG added that the Agency was also making efforts to change the terms of trade from Free-on-Board (FOB) to Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) in order to support Nigerian Shipowners build financial capacity to compete in the industry.
Dr. Peterside also disclosed that the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) is $124 million USD only, and that it would be disbursed as soon as some review of the guidelines for disbursement was done with.


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