… As NCC plans tax holiday for telecom investors

Minister of Mines and Steel Development, KayodeFayemi, says investors in the mining sector will be given a three-year tax holiday and waivers on import duties.

Speaking to prospective investors at the opening session of the ongoing Africa Down Under Conference in Perth, Australia, Fayemi expressed Nigeria’s determination to return stronger to the global ore and mineral market.

According to a statement by OlayinkaOyebode, special assistant to the minister on media, Fayemi looks to drive the growth and development of the sector through the private sector.

The tax holiday, according to the minister, will commence from the date an investor commences mining operations in the country.

The minister listed other incentives approved by the federal government for investors in the mineral and mining sector to include exemption from custom and import duties on mining equipment.

Other incentives available to the foreign investors are that companies could be wholly owned by such investors.

Fayemi also identified security as another major area the government was investing in, in order to ensure security of investment as well as life and properties.

“Our government has a renewed commitment to the improvement of security across mine site, logistic related security and general terrorism,” he said.

Fayemi, who presented graphical details of incentives obtainable in several other major mining countries, including Australia, USA, South Africa and Chile, told the investors, operators and other allied professionals that Nigeria was offering more generous incentives, including favourable tax regime and royalties.

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He said Nigeria was determined to build a world-class minerals and mining ecosystem designed to serve a targeted domestic and export market for minerals and metals, adding that part of the vision of the ministry is to contribute to job creation.

“We are focusing on rebuilding our minerals and mining sector in three phases: Phase 1, in the immediate term, we are achieving import substitution by winning over domestic users of industrial minerals.

“Phase 2, our focus is on further expanding our domestic ore and mineral asset processing capacity. Phase 3, we will return stronger to the global ore and minerals markets at a market competitive price point.”

According to the senate committee on import duty and waivers, Nigeria lost N106 billion to import duty waivers in 2015.

Also, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, is planning tax holidays and policy incentives to woo foreign investors.
Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Umar Danbatta, disclosed this in Lagos while speaking at a forum for stakeholders ahead of International Telecommunications Union, ITU, Telecom World 2016.
“Although the ICT sector has recorded very significant growth in the last 15 years when we moved from a little below 500,000 active lines to the current 157million and surpassed the 100 percent threshold for teledensity, it stands at 107%, internet connectivity climbed up from 50,000 in 2001 to its current 97million,” he said during the week.
“We have over $35b from Foreign Direct Investments, FDIs and local investments are also in billions of dollars. Our story of successes is very long but we as regulators are not resting on our oars believing that we are already there.
“No, we are not there yet. What we have is work in progress. We are here to restrategise on how we can attract more meaningful investments into our country.
“We are here to fine-tune our story about the growth and attraction of our sector. We are here to think of ways to convince would-be investors on the potentials and capacity of our country.”
On convincing investors, the NCC boss said, “Several investors have been here and many more are on their way. We will tell them that Nigeria is safe for investors and Return on Investments, RoI, is assured.
“We will tell them that our regulatory processes are open, effective and transparent.
“We will tell them about the growing demand for fast, stable and reliable internet connectivity, we will tell them how the country has been receptive to investors through policies that include tax incentives and holidays, and that investors have been so encouraged that those who invested heavily in our Digital Mobile Licences, DMLs, since 2001 have never known a better yesterday.
“We will tell them about the revolution that is brewing in broadband, since 2013 when government inaugurated the National Broadband Plan, NBP; there have been spirited efforts by the Commission to raise the level of broadband penetration.
“As we speak, we have 14 per cent penetration and over 100 percent thirst for internet. We are convinced that by 2018, the anticipated 30 per cent penetration is not impossible to achieve.
“Bitflux Consortium has rolled out on its 2.3GHz services. Two Infrastructure Companies (Infracos) have been licenced for Lagos and North Central including Abuja. Five more licences are underway for North West, North East, South West, South South and South East. Our processes are being fine-tuned to actualize the licensing rounds. You are invited to join the revolution.
“There is a gap, no doubt which these would-be and existing investors will bridge. The quality of service is not robust yet, but we are assured that we will get it right with more investments.
“This is the story we are taking to ITU Telecom World 2016 in Bangkok, Thailand from November 14-17”.
Fayemi has offered a three-year tax holiday and waiver on import duty for investors eyeing the Nigerian mining industry.

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