‘NECA argued that a move to hike excise rates could cause government revenue from the industry to significantly take a plunge’
The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has rejected the plan by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to increase tariff on select products.
The body of organised private sector warned that the increase would incapacitate its productive capacity and ability to contribute to national development.
NECA in a statement by its Director-General, Mr Adewale Oyerinde, condemned the planned proposal by the federal government to increase excise duties on tobacco, spirits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
He stated that the proposed increases if implemented, would amount to a departure from the recently established roadmap set out in the 2022 Fiscal Policy Measures and Tariffs Amendments (FPM 2022) which covers 2022-2024.
Oyerinde argued that a move to hike excise rates in an unsustainable manner could cause government revenue from the industry to significantly take a plunge, rather than increase.
He averred: “Historically, huge increases in excise duty often do not translate to increased revenue in the medium to long term. The more sustainable an excise regime is, the better the industry can contribute to government treasury.
”Recent economic growth in Nigeria has been driven largely by the non-oil sector. Subjecting the sector to further hardship does not bode well for the future of the industry, or for the growth of government revenue in 2023 and beyond.
”The current minimal growth of the economy is an indication that a huge tax hike would not achieve the desired results for all stakeholders. The Organized Private Sector believes that the rate of increase in the roadmap of the Fiscal Policy Measures and Tariffs Amendments 2022 should be maintained.
”If another increase is imposed, the industry will suffer a further setback and more consumers may tilt toward purchases of products that are less expensive, typically those sourced from the illicit market on which no form of Nigerian tax o(including excise) has been paid.
“While efforts are being made to get industries back to a sustainable level and drive up employment rate, policies that could negate the little gains made so far in the economy should be suspended.”