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Tobacco companies in Nigeria illegally gaining from expansion grant scheme

Tobacco companies in Nigeria illegally gaining from expansion grant scheme
December 14
11:10 2016
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Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), has urged the Nigeria customs service to release detailed information on tax waivers, grants given to British America Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) and other tobacco companies.

Oluwafemi Akinbode, ERA/FoEN’s deputy executive director, told NAN in Abuja that BATN and some other companies had been benefiting from the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme.

He said providing detailed information on tax waivers and grants would make the country to be able to track illegally diverted funds into private hands.

The Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme, is an export incentive designed to assist indigenous exporters to expand the volume and value of their exports, diversify export markets and become more competitive in the international market.

Exporters get cash grants for exporting semi-manufactured or manufactured products with the incentive element in the graduation of the grant according to volume of export sales.

“We as an organisation decided to align with the federal government in tracking and tracing revenue that was illegally diverted into private hands or undue grants that were used to bleed our economy,” Akinbode said.

“It is also to lay bare how the tobacco companies have deceived the Nigerian government and the Nigerian people about the economics of tobacco business in Nigeria.”

Akinbode said there was the need for information on the volume of raw or shredded tobacco leaf BATN  and other foreign tobacco companies imports into Nigeria and from which country.

“It is also to know the volume of shredded tobacco imported into Nigeria by BATN and from which country,”Akinbode said.

The director also said that it is necessary to know the location of cigarette factories in Nigeria, volume and brands produced from each factory.

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