…..Kicks against planned increase of Excise on spirits,alcoholic beverages
Nigeria Employers Consultative Association,NECA has commended the Federal Government for heeding the call to suspend the proposed telecoms tax on opreators and Nigerians in general.
But it kicked against government’s moves to increase Excise on spirits,alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages,saying it is most unwelcome at this time.
Speaking at a public forum in Abuja recently,the Director-General of NECA, Mr Wale Smart Oyerinde said:”We commend the Federal Government for suspending the telecoms tax, as it has potential challenges for the sector and further burden Nigerians.
“At a time when the purchasing power of the citizenry is being eroded by inflation and other negative economic indices and the telecoms industry is critically challenged, the best that government can do,is to provide relief for the citizens and business owners,not withstanding its dwindling revenue”.
He charged the government to focus more on creating a favourable environment for businesses to address the challenges of rising unemployment and its attendant negative social effects like banditry, among others.
Oyerinde said: “While the nation grapples with revenue challenges, we urge government to equally drop the idea of increasing Excise on spirits,alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages being proposed.
“These increases if implemented,will not only worsen the bad situation of the industry,but will also create a major shock in the industry, leading to job losses.
“Rather than over burden businesses that are already struggling, government should explore options for incressing revenue through widening the tax net, reducing governance costs, addressing massive oil theft and dealing with unsustainable subsidy regime.
The NECA boss noted that businesses currently face major operational and sustainability challenges, stressing that government should not contribute to the demise of more businesses.
He also noted that “businesses are not striving to be competitive again but are now more concerned with sustainability.
” The trend of multiplicity of taxes and other unfavourable economic factors have led to the shut down of many businesses while some others relocated to neighbouring countries”.