The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has raised concerns over increasing tax burden on businesses amid a harsh operating environment in the country.
The association particularly alluded to some provisions of the Financial Bill, including the increased Tertiary Education Tax (TET) from 2.5 percent to 3.0 percent.
Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, the director-general of NECA, in a statement on Wednesday, said the TET was increased without regard for the current economic situation faced by businesses.
According to him, organised businesses are currently burdened with over 50 different taxes, levies and fees – both legally and illegally.
“These taxes include company income tax; stamp duties; petroleum profit tax; capital gains tax, value added tax; personal income tax; withholding tax; tertiary education tax, among others.
“Increasing the Tertiary Education Tax is another burden too much to bear.
“Also, increasing CIT rate for a gas-flaring company from the standard 30 per cent to 50 per cent is also worrisome, considering the fact these companies are already covered in the Petroleum Industry Act: this can be a recipe for further divestment.
“Also, the imposition of excise duty at rates to be specified via presidential order on all services including telecommunication services is too broad and vague.
“This can be subject to abuse and further strangulation of the business community,” he said.
NECA called on President Muhammadu Buhari to request the National Assembly to do the needful by taking into cognisance the concerns of organised businesses and expunge all anti-business provisions in the bill.
“It is absurd that the National Assembly will consider and pass the finance bill in an unusual manner. It was surprising that the national assembly would pass such an important bill without the input and contributions of critical stakeholders,” the employers’ body added.
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