The federal government of Nigeria has budgeted N20 billion in the 2017 budget for the resumption of the controversial Export Expansion Grant (EEG) tax credit scheme.
The controversy surrounding the resumption of the scheme deepened late last year as the House of Representatives urged the minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, to halt the resumption of the grant.
The EEG, before its suspension, accumulated a backlog of over N150 billion, which exporters are still begging the federal government to settle.
The inclusion of the grant in the budget indicates that the federal government is poised at resuming the grant this year.
The EEG was conceived in 1999 as a very important incentive required for the stimulation of export-oriented activities that will lead to significant growth of the non-oil export sector.
The grant was designed to be disbursed to qualified exporters in the form of the Negotiable Duty Credit Certificate (NDCC) and utilised by beneficiaries for the payment of customs and excise duty on their export shipments.
The sudden suspension of the scheme in January 2014 rattled exporters, leading to the accumulation of backlog of over N150 billion.