Tinubu economic advisers propose Customs, NIMASA, FIRS merger

President Bola Tinubu Policy Advisory Council has recommended the declaration of a state of emergency on revenue generation in the country.

The council also proposed the merger of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Nigerian Customs Service, and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency into the Nigerian Revenue Service in order to enable an efficient collection of all direct and indirect taxes, as well as levies on behalf of the Federal Government.

According to submissions made by the National Economy Sub-Committee, the policy will be aided by the passage of an Emergency Economic Reform Bill which will grant the President special powers to drive the economic reform agenda and support the delivery of sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

The council further outlined the removal of fuel subsidy, sale or concession of select government assets, transition to a transparent and unified foreign exchange rate system, deepening tax collection and optimization of operating expenditure to reduce cost, as targets to be pursued by the President towards the achievement of some milestones within the first 100 days in office.

Members of the Policy Advisory Council are Senator Tokunbo Abiru (chair), Yemi Cardoso, Sumaila Zubairu and Doris Anite.

The council’s report, which focuses on fiscal and monetary policies, industry, trade and capital market reforms, emphasised that changes in the Central Bank of Nigeria and temporary increases in fiscal circuit breakers such as debt limits would help achieve N1trn Gross Domestic Product growth and over 50 million jobs for citizens in eight years.

The 90-page document further proposed that reforms in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will help achieve about $50bn-$60bn in external reserves, with a monthly inflow of at least $6bn-$8bn from export earnings and other forms of capital inflow, to support the policy at an exchange rate of N500-N600/$.

“Ramp up production capacity to four million barrels from offshore and onshore assets within four years and grow crude oil revenue and savings into ECA and NSIA,” the advisory read.

“Formalise illegal refineries and encourage modular refineries to create economic opportunity for the host communities.

“Aggressively grow domestic refining capacity to 2 million barrels per day in the next eight years, including modular refineries.

Other fiscal recommendations proposed include a policy directive that ensures proceeds from the sale of assets to settle existing FGN debt obligations.

“List shares of strategic and profitable NNPC subsidiaries. Privatise, concession or sell down FGN’s stake in corporate assets to partners and other investors (possibly with a buyback option) to generate liquidity in the short to medium terms (focus on sub-optimal assets e.g., NNPCL refineries).


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