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VOICE OF COURAGE: Selected speeches of Obafemi Awolowo (Vol 2)

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Courage, Economic objectives, organisationsContinued from last week

Import and excise duties

A number of carefully selected items of goods will, henceforth, attract various rates of duty. These measures are designed to raise additional revenue as well as conserve our foreign exchange. The details of the items of goods involved, and the actual rates of duty imposed upon them will be published later tonight. In a full year a oral revenue of about £7 million is expected from these-sources.


National reconstruction surcharge:

For the duration of this emergency and for the whole period of reconstruction, there will be a 5 per cent surcharge on duties payable on all items of imports and excisable goods, with the exception of the following:

  1. i) Stock fish
  2. ii) Milk

iii) Salt

  1. iv) Sugar

Raw materials imported at concessionary rates of duty by approved manufacturer under the Approved scheme.

  1. vi) Bread

vii) Flour

viii) Soap

In this connection, it is pertinent to bring to the remembrance of older Nigerians, and to the notice of younger ones, that during the Second World War, a surcharge of 25 per cent on specific import duties was imposed. The surcharge remained in operation for more than eight years from late 1939 to 5th March, 1948. A yearly revenue of about £9 million is expected from this source.

Direct tax:

As a result of the creation of the Lagos State, the only sphere of direct tax in which the Federal Government can now operate with complete freedom is that of company tax. Even here, a good deal of circumspection is called for. An increase in the present rate of company tax might have the effect of driving out of existence those companies which only manage to keep their heads above water.

Whatever we do, we must not kill any of the geese that lay the golden eggs, however poor their laying may be. But just as there are poor struggling companies which make meager profits, so there are rich and prosperous ones whose profits are comparatively large.

The Federal Government has, therefore, decided to impose a super- tax of 2/- in the pound, on companies whose taxable profits exceed whichever is the greater of –

  1. i) £5,000 for a year of assessment, or
  2. ii) 15 per cent of the company’s issued and paid-up share capital.

It is expected that this imposition will yield additional revenue of £2. 9 million for the rest of the present financial year.


One Nigeria bonds:

The spontaneity and generosity, with which you have all donated to Troops’ Comfort and Relief Funds, are a practical demonstration of your loyalty to the noble cause to which the Federal Military Government has dedicated itself. There are those of you who have donated once-far-all substantial sums to these funds. There are others who pay their own donations instalmentally, and who, to this end, have given irrevocable standing instructions for 5 per cent of their salaries to be deducted every month for three months consecutively.

The Federal Military Government is exceedingly grateful to you all for your financial sacrifices. But it will like you to do more.

To be continued

The post VOICE OF COURAGE: Selected speeches of Obafemi Awolowo (Vol 2) appeared first on Tribune.

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