NIPC Resumes Processing of Pioneer Status Incentive Applications

The Federal Government has lifted the administrative suspension on processing Pioneer Status Incentives (PSI) applications, following the conclusion of critical reforms to the incentive regime.

It also announced a release of new guidelines for PSI applications as well as a revamped list of pioneer industries and products.

This was made known yesterday, by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah

According to the Minister, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at its last meeting approved the lifting of the suspension, a new guideline and a revamped Pioneer list with the addition of 27 key industries and deletion of two industries and a biennial review of the list going forward. In line with the reform provisions, all additions will be added to the list immediately, and all deletions will be removed from the list in 3 years.

He explained that the review of the list of Pioneer industries and products was done to bring it in line with the economic realities of Nigeria and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

Enelamah went on to say that “The Federal Government is committed to encouraging and attracting investments into critical sectors of the economy which will significantly impact development and deliver key benefits to the country.

He added: “These benefits include Economic Growth and Diversification; Industrial and Sectoral Development; Employment; Skills and Technology Transfer; Export Development; and Import Substitution.”

In her remarks, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) Ms Yewande Sadiku, stated: “The reforms have brought further clarity, predictability and process efficiency to the PSI regime. We will continue the reform process as we plan to take the PSI application process online. We will also engage with relevant stakeholders with a view to updating the existing legislations.”

Recall that an administrative suspension was placed on the processing of PSI applications in 2016, to allow for a comprehensive review and reform of the incentive regime.

This was aimed at increasing transparency and process efficiency, better articulating the expected economic benefits, and improving the Federal Government’s ability to measure the impact of the incentive.

The new application guidelines provide information on the considerations for assessing new PSI and extension applications. It further outlines the application processes and timelines. It also details the ongoing obligations of beneficiaries.

The PSI grants companies making investments in qualifying industries and products a tax holiday from the payment of company income tax for an initial period of three years, with the possibility of an extension for one or two additional years.

An industry or product is designated as pioneer if it is not being carried on in Nigeria on a scale suitable to the economic requirements of the country or not at all; or where there are favourable prospects for further development; or if it is expedient in the public interest to encourage the development and establishment of an industry in Nigeria.

For further information and to download the new application forms, guidelines for PSI and Pioneer list, please visit the website of Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).