The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has expressed concern about the 50 distinct taxes, levies, and fees that local, state, and federal governments levy on organized enterprises.
In addition to the notable taxes and levies that are of general application, such as the National Information Technology Development Levy (NITDA Levy), Education Tax (or Tertiary Education Tax), National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Company Income Tax (CIT), Television and Radio Licensing, the employers’ group also revealed that there are currently over five different Bills at the National Assembly that also seek to impose various taxes and levies on businesses.
Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, the Director-General of NECA, bemoaned the action, saying it would not only lessen the competitiveness of the industries but also raise operating costs and further impair potential sustainability.
Identifying issues that were already destroying the real estate market, Debt and a lack of revenue are problems that are acknowledged, but Oyerinde argued that businesses shouldn’t be forced to bear the consequences of poor economic planning and a lack of political will that have characterized previous administrations.
He remarked that it was strange that there are proposals to further raise the excise tax on specific products, including spirits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic goods, at a time when the government should be doing everything possible to protect businesses from complete collapse and lower the rising unemployment rate.
Oyerinde said the government would be wise not to further burden the real sector with additional taxes and a strict regulatory environment, given the variety of challenges it faces, including a lack of FOREX, a strict regulatory environment, and a lack of alignment between fiscal and monetary policies.
As the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) gets underway, Nigeria cannot afford to become a dumping ground for low-cost imported goods because we have refused to protect local businesses, he said, highlighting the need for the government to avoid placing undue burdens on businesses.