Owners of Small and Medium-Scale Businesses under the auspices of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have advised the Tinubu-led government to, as a matter of urgency, reverse the 2023 fiscal policy measure that raises taxes on beverages and tobacco while also tackling the issue of multiple taxes in the country.
MAN President, Otunba Francis Meshioye, represented by the Head Communications, MAN, Ambrose Oruche, while speaking at the investiture of new Executive of the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) tagged “Setting Agenda for the incoming federal government administration” in Lagos recently urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to urgently address the challenges facing the industry.
Noteworthy, Tinubu made history as the 16th president of the federal republic of Nigeria after he was sworn-in May 29, 2023. Meanwhile, in his inaugural speech he vowed that his administration would focus on key areas such as security, the economy, job creation, agriculture, infrastructure, and monetary policy.
He also called on the need to promote the use of local content by mandating the patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products by all government parastatals, agencies, and ministries; revisit executive orders 003 and 004; create a special window for forex allocation to the manufacturing sector; and identify and break the powerbroker militating against the completion of the Ajaokuta steel complex to make available raw materials for steel and automobile industries.
He also called for the provision of incentives to encourage a rapid energy transition in the manufacturing industry.
He pointed that some of the challenges facing the economy include economic imbalances in terms of multiple taxes, fees, and levies imposed by all tiers of government, forex scarcity, a bourgeoning borrowing interest rate, energy insecurity, and an infrastructural deficit in a highly inflationary environment.
Emphasizing on multiple taxation, Tinubu said, “Emphatically, while the government believes in tax increments to rake in more revenue, the action is highly counterproductive because a high tax burden on manufacturing and small and medium-scale businesses will squeeze their profit margins, which will have an adverse effect on their tax-paying ability.
“As a matter of fact, multiple taxes on the manufacturing sector cannot enhance government revenue; rather, it will only erode the operational capability, effectiveness, and competitiveness of the industry, with huge negative spillover effects on government earnings, job creation, and the economy at large.”