CIT and Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentives: Stimulating Innovation in Nigeria.


Innovation is the cornerstone of progress, driving economic growth, technological advancement, and global competitiveness. Recognizing the critical role of innovation, the Nigerian government has implemented Research & Development (R&D) tax incentives under the Companies Income Tax (CIT) Act to encourage businesses to invest in research and innovation activities. In this article, we will explore how R&D tax incentives can contribute to Nigeria’s growth and competitiveness.

Understanding R&D Tax Incentives:

R&D tax incentives are designed to provide financial incentives for companies engaged in research and innovation activities. These incentives aim to alleviate the financial burden associated with R&D expenditures, promote technological advancement, and foster a culture of innovation.

Key Aspects of R&D Tax Incentives:

  • Deductibility of R&D Expenses: Nigerian companies involved in qualifying R&D activities can deduct a percentage of their R&D expenses from their assessable profits before calculating their CIT liability. This deduction effectively reduces the company’s taxable income, leading to lower tax liabilities.
  • Enhancing Competitiveness: By offering R&D tax incentives, the Nigerian government encourages businesses to invest in research and innovation. This, in turn, enhances the competitiveness of Nigerian industries on both local and global fronts.
  • Encouraging Investment: R&D tax incentives can attract local and foreign investment by providing a tangible advantage to companies engaged in innovative activities. Investors are more likely to allocate resources to countries that support and reward research and development efforts.

Stimulating Innovation in Nigeria:

  • Technological Advancement: R&D tax incentives drive technological advancement by providing companies with the resources needed to develop and implement cutting-edge technologies, products, and services.
  • Knowledge Economy: R&D initiatives contribute to the growth of a knowledge-based economy by fostering a skilled workforce, encouraging the exchange of ideas, and creating a conducive environment for research and innovation.
  • Industry Growth: R&D tax incentives can fuel the growth of specific industries, such as pharmaceuticals, information technology, renewable energy, and agriculture, by incentivizing companies to invest in research that addresses sector-specific challenges.
  • Start-Up Support: R&D tax incentives are particularly beneficial for start-ups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that may have limited financial resources. These incentives level the playing field, allowing innovative start-ups to compete and thrive.

Maximizing R&D Tax Incentives:

  • Qualifying R&D Activities: To benefit from R&D tax incentives, companies should identify and engage in qualifying R&D activities that align with their business goals and industry needs.
  • Documentation: Proper documentation of R&D activities and associated expenses is crucial. Maintaining detailed records and supporting documentation ensures that companies can substantiate their R&D claims during tax audits.
  • Professional Assistance: Engaging accounting and tax experts with knowledge of R&D tax incentives can help companies optimize their claims, navigate complex regulations, and ensure compliance with CIT laws.


R&D tax incentives are a powerful tool for stimulating innovation, driving economic growth, and enhancing Nigeria’s global competitiveness. By incentivizing businesses to invest in research and development, the Nigerian government is paving the way for a brighter and more innovative future.

For professional advice on Accountancy, Transfer Pricing, Tax, Assurance, Outsourcing, online accounting support, Company Registration, and CAC matters, please contact Sunmola David & CO (Chartered Accountants & Tax Practitioners) at Lagos, Ogun state Nigeria offices, You can also reach us via WhatsApp at +2348038460036.