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FG backs diplomatic village establishment

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By Abiodun Okunloye

The Nigeria Duty and tax free diplomatic village will replicate global standard.

During an adventure through the Diplomatic Village, which was built to simulate the duty-free shopping village for diplomats provided by missions across the world, the Federal Government had stated that Nigeria had supported the village with its policy, explaining that the investment was mostly private before the government participated by means of an enabling policy following the Vienna Convention. Yakubu Mohammed, Director of Tax Policy at Nigeria’s Ministry of Finance, explained that the government intervened so that its diplomats may continue to benefit from tax-free shopping in all the nations that have signed the Vienna Convention.

Mohammed affirmed that Uche Odozor, the Diplomatic Village Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, was the one who came up with the idea, and the federal government quickly adopted it because it was an international best practice. This situation entails both activities: a private investment as well as the policy of the government. Following that, the concept was marketed to the government, which discovered that it was a global standard. As such, Nigeria is making an effort to conform to the standards, showing visiting diplomats the same hospitality the country has received from those stationed abroad.

Diplomats will now have a variety of things to enjoy.

According to Uche Odozor, the Diplomatic Village MD / CEO, the diplomats will no longer carry their money with them when they leave the country due to a lack of things to buy. There’s a gallery right outside the building, showcasing artworks by displaced people from all around the country. Odozor said that helping them out was all about improving their quality of life. In discussing the importance of helping Internally displaced people, he stated that they felt compelled to do so because many of the displaced people they have met are incredibly gifted.

As a result, they went out to them to ask whether they would paint their stories so that they might be displayed and sold, and the earnings remitted to them, all without any purpose of earning from the sales. More so, a great response has been received up to this point, with numerous people expressing satisfaction with it. Most importantly, the interior of the building was embellished with materials that were sourced from the surrounding area and fabricated there.

The country’s economy will also be greatly benefited.

In his further remarks on the village’s impact on the economy, Odozor noted that the country is a signatory to the Vienna Agreement of 1961, which grants all diplomats and citizens of Common Wealth Countries the opportunity to shop duty- and tax-free in the nations in which they are stationed. A diplomat is exempt from paying tax on any and all personal items purchased in this nation while functioning in that capacity. The year 1962 commemorates the time when Nigeria officially adopted this policy document.

Moreover, it’s a benefit to the economy in substantial ways. Before this change, Nigeria, which hosts the largest diplomatic community on the African continent, missed out on revenue because its diplomats transported in their consumption when coming. However, as diplomats reside and spend money in Nigeria, the country is now prepared to hold on to some income. The number of diplomatic shipments entering the country will drop significantly as a result of the duty-free center’s offerings, which include a shopping mall, a clinic, a variety of restaurants, and several other facilities.

Maximum security and safety are ensured in the village.

On the village safety, Odozor assures that the village is safe and secure. The area is under constant surveillance by all the appropriate authorities. The presence of diplomats makes any given location an easy target for criminals. Because of this, the entrance to this building is highly guarded. Diplomatic mobile police unit 44 has a substantial contingent based in this location. Many committees and a security division are involved in putting this into action. To their satisfaction, the administration has taken all necessary security measures.

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