The Role of the Nigeria Finance Act 2019 in Promoting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plays a crucial role in the economic development and growth of countries around the world. In Nigeria, attracting foreign investment is essential for driving innovation, creating jobs, and enhancing economic diversification. Recognizing the significance of FDI, the Nigeria Finance Act of 2019 introduces key provisions aimed at promoting a conducive environment for foreign investors. As a prominent accounting firm in Nigeria, we delve into the role of the Nigeria Finance Act 2019 in fostering Foreign Direct Investment.

1. Pioneer Status Incentive:

The Finance Act 2019 extends the pioneer status incentive to industries and sectors critical to economic growth and development. Foreign companies making investments in pioneer industries can benefit from tax holidays, which provide relief from corporate income tax for an initial period of three years. This incentive encourages foreign investors to consider Nigeria as an attractive destination for their business ventures.

Implication: The pioneer status incentive incentivizes foreign companies to invest in priority sectors, driving technological advancements, job creation, and economic diversification. It positions Nigeria as an appealing investment destination, attracting FDI to bolster various industries.

2. Incentives for Export-Oriented Businesses:

To enhance Nigeria’s export capacity, the Finance Act 2019 reinstates the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme. This initiative provides incentives to businesses engaged in non-oil exports. Foreign investors contributing to Nigeria’s non-oil export volumes can access grants proportional to their export value. The EEG scheme serves as a powerful tool to attract FDI, especially for businesses keen on exploring international markets.

Implication: The EEG scheme motivates foreign investors to invest in export-oriented businesses, facilitating economic growth and contributing to Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings. It strengthens the country’s competitiveness in the global market and encourages FDI in non-oil sectors.

3. Digital Services Tax (DST):

The Finance Act 2019 introduces the Digital Services Tax (DST) to address the challenges of taxing digital transactions. Foreign companies providing digital services to Nigerian consumers without a physical presence in the country are subject to DST at a rate of 2% of their gross revenue. This move ensures that multinational digital service providers contribute their fair share to Nigeria’s tax revenue.

Implication: The DST fosters a level playing field for foreign and local digital service providers, encouraging fair competition and promoting FDI in the digital sector. It also provides a transparent framework for taxing the digital economy, making Nigeria an attractive destination for tech-driven investments.

4. Enhanced Tax Transparency and Compliance:

The Finance Act 2019 emphasizes the importance of tax transparency and compliance. Foreign investors seek stable and predictable tax regimes, and the Act strives to provide clarity in tax regulations. The introduction of measures such as electronic stamp duties for document authentication simplifies tax administration and enhances transparency for foreign investors.

Implication: A transparent and efficient tax system instills confidence in foreign investors, assuring them of a business-friendly environment. By reducing tax uncertainties and promoting compliance, Nigeria becomes an appealing destination for FDI.


The Nigeria Finance Act 2019 plays a pivotal role in promoting Foreign Direct Investment by offering attractive incentives, fostering tax transparency, and streamlining tax administration. By providing tax holidays through the pioneer status incentive, offering grants under the Export Expansion Grant (EEG) scheme, introducing the Digital Services Tax (DST), and enhancing tax transparency and compliance, the Act positions Nigeria as an enticing investment destination.

As an accounting firm in Nigeria, we recognize the significance of these provisions in attracting foreign investors. By leveraging the opportunities provided by the Finance Act 2019, Nigeria can enhance its global competitiveness, accelerate economic growth, and solidify its position as an investment hub in the region.

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