The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to forget the proposed hike in the excise duty on alcohol and tobacco products, saying if it goes ahead to implement the proposal, the firms producing the products will shut down and increase job losses.
The President, MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, made the call in Lagos on Wednesday while addressing journalists on the association’s position on the African Continental Free Trade agreement.
Citing the need to raise revenue, the Federal government had on March 11 approved an amendment to the excise tariff rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, which will come into effect on June 4, 2018.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, had stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had granted a grace period of 90 days to manufacturers of the affected products before the new duty regime would go into effect.
She said the new excise duty rates would be spread over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020 in order to moderate the impact on the prices of the products.
The minister explained that the new tariff regime came about following an all-inclusive meeting between the Tariff Technical Committee of the Federal Ministry of Finance and key industry stakeholders.
Jacobs, however, said that the association was still engaging the government on the issue.
He stated, “During the last presidential engagement forum, I talked about the impact of this excise duty increase on the manufacturing sector. I made it clear that if they go ahead and implement that policy, within the three years when that policy will be in full force, many of the companies that are involved in those product must close shops.”