Posted on April 20, 2018
The laudable programme of the Federal Government on ease of doing business and other related initiatives are being threatened by the deficient infrastructure and the multiple taxation regime plaguing manufacturers in the country.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Ikeja Branch observed during its business luncheon for managing directors and chief executive officers in Lagos on Thursday that the taxation structure needed to be amended for the initiatives to register any positive impact.
In a presentation titled ‘The impact of legislation, regulations and policies on the ease of doing business in Nigeria’, a foremost legal practitioner, Paul Usoro, noted that there were still concerns about multiple taxation; this is due to the structure of the taxation system in the country.
“Nigeria operates a federal system of government. The federal, state and local governments have powers and duty to administer taxes. This system often leads to a multiplicity of tax and engenders conflicts among the various tiers of government. Regrettably, we are yet to see any concrete or determined effort by government to resolve the challenge of multiplicity of tax.”
He recommended dialogue between the Federal Government and other levels of government to bring about a framework that could reduce the number of taxes payable in a specified sector of the economy.
Usoro also suggested widening the scope of the executive orders to cover more important aspects of the Nigerian manufacturing industry such as the policy of first consideration of made-in-Nigeria goods in procurement.
The Chairman, MAN, Otunba Meshioye, lamented that manufacturers in Lagos State were still struggling to survive amidst a legion of major challenges including the expansion of the list of taxes, levies and fees payable to the government’s Ministries, Department and Agencies in Lagos State.
An example of such taxes, according to him, is the Stage Carriage Permit issued by the Ministry of Transport.
He named others as difficulties being created by the bureaucratic bottlenecks in the implementation of the Harmonised Inspection of Workplace as well as the gridlock on the port access routes.
While thanking the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, for ensuring security and improving infrastructure in the state and making it easy for land to be acquired by manufacturers, Meshioye urged him to look into the poor road network within the industrial estates in the state and resolve the issue of the Land Use Charge of 2018 as raised by various stakeholders.
Stakeholders, according to him, expect the government to have in place progressive legislation that focuses on improving existing regulatory policies towards enhancing profitability of businesses for entrepreneurs.
The President, MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, who spoke through the Vice President, MAN, Lagos zone, Isaac Agoye, pleaded with the Lagos State Government to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods by making it part of its procurement policy.