The Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN) has rejected the new excise duty imposed on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products in the country.
The Chairman of DIBAN, Patrick Anegbe, who made the disclosure while speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Lagos, said there was no prior consultation whatsoever with the indigenous producers of wines and spirits, before adopting the new excise method.
The Federal Government had approved an upward review of excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, indicating an increase in the prices of the products.
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, had noted that the increase in excise duty, which took effect on Monday, June 4, 2018, was to raise government’s fiscal revenues and reduce the health hazards associated with tobacco-related diseases and alcohol abuse.
“We Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria (DIBAN), under the auspices of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) reject the new astronomical hike in excise duty being selectively imposed on the domestic wines and spirits, one of the oldest and driving indigenous industry in Nigeria.
”For the record, the new duty approved for implementation by the Honourable Minister of Finance, translates to an increase in duty from the current average of N30 per litre to N150 in the first year and N200 per litre subsequently.
”This translates to an increase from current average duty of N270 to N1,350 per case (carton) in the first yea
According to him, the ”astronomical increase” in excise duty being imposed on domestic wines and spirits.
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“This is an increase of over 500 per cent purely on local wines and spirits with the exclusion of all imported wines, spirits and champagne.
”We reject in totality, the highly punitive and selective astronomical hikes in duty, a purely IMF agenda being camouflaged as a health concern!,” he said.
The Chairman expressed worry over how the jobs of about 25,000 employees currently engaged under the sector were being threatened by the hike.
He therefore called on the federal government to halt the implementation of the new excise duty, stressing that government should hold genuine consultation with all stakeholders in the domestic wines and spirits space.
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