The Nigeria-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) has cautioned that the federal government’s proposed increase in excise duty will lead to increased inflation in the country.
According to NenyKo, the federal government, through the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and Financial Planning, has finalised plans to increase the specific excise component of several products, including as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and tobacco.
However, the NBCC has urged the federal government against such an increase.
NBCC while expressing concern about the plans to increase the excise duty, lamented that such increment will lead to scarcity of essential products and inflation in the country.
The organisation made these disclosures via a statement issued on Tuesday by its President, Mrs Bisi Adeyemi.
Adeyemi in the statement made available to DAILY POST on Tuesday, called for review of the policy considering its impact on the Nigerian business environment.
She said that the planned increase is a significant digression from its recently adopted 2022 Fiscal Policy Measures and Tariffs Amendments (FPM 2022) roadmap.
Adeyemi, who regretted that the manufacturing sector is currently battling with issues such as increment in energy costs, rising inflation, foreign exchange scarcity and inadequate infrastructure, insisted that increment, as being proposed by the federal government would worsen the situation in the country.
She used the opportunity to implore the federal government to retain the approved excise regime.
Adeyemi, while speaking further, urged the federal government to curb oil theft in order to increase the revenue being generated yearly.
She concluded by imploring the government to institute measures to reduce current sources of revenue loss such as oil theft.
She said, “While we understand and appreciate the need to improve Federal Government income, a holistic review of the peculiarities of Nigeria’s current micro and macroeconomic realities as well as the impact of these on businesses and Nigerians specifically, should be undertaken.
“The manufacturing sector is currently contending with sundry issues, which include skyrocketing energy costs, rising inflation, foreign exchange scarcity, poor and inadequate infrastructure, increasing difficulties associated with ease of doing business, and other headwinds that increasingly challenge competitiveness in the global market.
“The benefits of the retention cannot be overemphasized, some of which include a steadily increasing tax contribution from the affected sectors which will be delivered by the 2022 FPM; these sectors are able to support Government’s objective of reducing the high rate of unemployment reported to be at about 33.3%; and improve the inflow of foreign direct investment as investors’ confidence is strengthened by Government’s continuous demonstration of its willingness to create an enabling environment through stable and consistent policies.”