President Buhari has approved an amendment to the excise duty rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco with effect from Monday, 4th June, 2018. There is however no increase in excise duty of other locally excisable products.
The President has also granted a grace period of 90 days (three months) to all manufacturers before the commencement of the new excise duty regime.
Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who made this known on Sunday in Abuja, stated that the new excise duty rates were spread over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020 in order to moderate the impact on prices of the products.
The Minister also disclosed that the new excise duty regimes followed all-inclusive stakeholder engagements by the Tariff Technical Committee of the Federal Ministry of Finance with key industry stakeholders.
According to her, the upward review of the excise duty rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco was to achieve a dual benefit of raising the Government’s fiscal revenues and reducing the health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcohol abuse.
Following the President’s approval, Adeosun disclosed that the new excise duty rate on tobacco was now a combination of the existing ad-valorem base rate and specific rate while the ad-valorem rate was replaced with a specific rate for alcoholic beverages.
Under the newly approved excise duty rates for tobacco in addition to the 20 per cent ad-valorem rate, each stick of cigarette will attract a N1 specific rate per stick (N20 per pack of 20 sticks) in 2018, N2 specific rate per stick (N40 per pack of 20 sticks) in 2019 and N2.90k specific rate per stick (N58 per pack of 20 sticks) in 2020.
The Minister explained that Nigeria’s cumulative specific excise duty rate for tobacco was 23.2 per cent of the price of the most sold brand, as against 38.14 per cent in Algeria, 36.52 per cent in South Africa and 30 per cent in Gambia.
The new specific excise duty rate for alcoholic beverages cuts across Beer & Stout, Wines and Spirits for the three years 2018 to 2020. Under the new regime, Beer & Stout would attract N0.30k per centiliter (Cl) in 2018 and N0.35k per Cl each in 2019 and 2020.
Wines would attract N1.25k per Cl in 2018 and N1.50k per Cl each in 2019 and 2020, while N1.50k per Cl was approved for Spirits in 2018, N1.75k per Cl in 2019 and N2.00k per Cl in 2020.
The Minister added that the new excise duty regimes are in line with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) directive on the harmonisation of member-states’ legislations on excise duties.
It would be recalled that the ECOWAS Council of Ministers had at its 62nd and 79th Ordinary Sessions in Abuja in May 2009 and December 2017, respectively, issued directives on the harmonisation of the ECOWAS Member States’ Legislations on Excise Duties.
The directives seek to harmonise member-states’ legislations on excise duties of non-oil products and also stipulate the scope of application, rate of taxation, taxable event and amount.