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MAN, NECA raise alarm over new 0.5% tax for Competition/Consumer Protection

At a time the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revealed that Nigerians are getting poorer by the day due to rising cost of essential commodities and dearth of business supporting infrastructures, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has joined forces with the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) to reject the planned imposition of another 0.5 per cent tax for Competition and Consumer Protection tax regime by the National Assembly.

Earlier, NECA had issued a statement accusing lawmakers of further strangulating businesses with the idea of introducing the tax when manufacturing sector is facing hard times.

According to the Director General of MAN, Mr. Olusegun Ajayi-Kadir, “the situation was worrisome now that the country was just getting out of recession,” saying “this was yet another unexpected and quiet surprising addition”.

He said “It is the burden we have always highlighted inimical to business because it is unimaginable this time that we are just getting out of recession that any attempt at managing the economy should include adding to the cost of doing business and tending towards making our product uncompetitive.

“I feel the cost of business should be brought down and it is actually surprising that we are witnessing this from the national Assembly that should ensure that the people wellbeing is not jeopardized, so it’s actually a complication.”

Ajayi-Kadir explained that multiple taxation has been a major challenge for manufacturers and it comes from the different tiers of government particularly at the state and local government.

“It has always having a debilitating impact on business. It increases cost of doing business; some of them are unpredictable and they come at any time and the time you expect to meet this obligation are quite telling on the man hour that you need to do your job,” he added.

NECA had observed that “if the Consumer Protection Bill is assented to without the removal of the addition 0.5 per cent, it would frustrate implantation through legal action and legitimate means. This is even as it has vowed not to pay this tax, noting that the insertion was a fraudulent act, which members of the organised private sector seriously frowned at”.

NECA complained that some forces had gone behind the stakeholders after the public hearing on the bill to insert a 0.5 per cent tax on companies to fund the establishment of a planned commission/agency that would undertake responsibilities under the law. ‎

In the submission of NECA Director general, Segun Oshinowo, said “at the last count, OPS have over 55 taxes and levies of all sorts imposed on enterprises from the local to the federal government level”.

He argued that if the new tax is implemented, several Nigerian manufacturers and businesses would be rendered uncompetitive which will translate to serious disincentive to wealth creation and investment and job creation for teaming unemployed Nigerians.