On Tuesday, the Federal Government opened a diplomatic duty-free village in Abuja, where diplomats may now purchase goods and take advantage of tax-free services throughout the nation.
The diplomatic hamlet was built in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of the United Nations, which exempts diplomats from all national, regional, and local taxes and charges.
Amb. Zubairu Dada, Minister of state, Foreign Affairs, said the facility will also help in reducing the level of shipment by individual diplomats.
Mr. Dada characterized the facility as a one-stop shopping village that will take care of all the needs of the diplomats in Abuja.
He also guaranteed the security of the diplomatic group, saying that the village will have sufficient security, thanks to the government.
“No doubt, the services provided by the duty-free facility will drastically reduce the volume of diplomatic shipments into the country.
“It is my hope that the services of the duty-free facility will further provide an additional platform and opportunity for members of the diplomatic community to enjoy this dividend stay in our country.
“I understand that the facility has different interesting and top-notch sections ranging from shopping center, recreational services, spa, eye center, restaurants, clinic, etc.
“This affirms that the federal government of Nigeria has so far demonstrated its commitment towards ensuring the success of the duty-free facility by giving the needed support for each operation.
“Which will, by no small measure, contribute immensely to the economic growth of Nigeria,” Mr. Dada said.
Also speaking, Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance and National Planning, said that the federal government took the establishment of the facility important to ensure coordination of imports for the diplomats.
Mrs. Ahmed said that the diplomatic immunities and privileges Act of 1962 empowers the Ministry of Finance to exempt diplomats from all taxes, letting Diplomats enjoy duty-free shopping facilities in several countries.
Mr. Odozor commented, saying: “it was fulfilling to see the unveiling of an edifice which started since 2010.”
“We have within this facility a wellness and fitness center comprising a spa for those who enjoy wellness and beauty, a clinic, among the many facilities,” Mr. Odozor said.
The building is situated on a 2,700 square meter plot of land in Abuja’s Central Business District along Olusegun Obasanjo Way.