The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has commended the Federal Government for heeding the call to suspend the proposed telecoms tax given the many economic challenges faced by operators and Nigerians in general.
The employers’ body equally urged the government to drop the idea of increasing excise on spirits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as proposed.
The increases, NECA said, if implemented, will not only worsen the already bad situation of the industry but will also create a major shock in the industry, leading to job losses.
Director-General of NECA, Wale-Smatt Oyerinde, said rather than overburden businesses that are already struggling, the government should explore other options for increasing revenue through widening the tax net, reducing governance costs, addressing the massive oil theft and dealing with the unsustainable subsidy regime.
He said that organised businesses currently face major operational and sustainability challenges and the government should not contribute to the demise of more businesses.
According to him, businesses are not striving to be competitive again but are now more concerned with sus” tainability. “The trend of the multiplicity of taxes and other unfavorable economic factors have led to the shutdown of many businesses while some others relocated to neighboring countries, he said.”
While further commending the government, Oyerinde said: “We commend the Federal Government for suspending the telecoms tax as it has the potential to compound the challenges of the sector and further burden Nigerians. At a time when the purchasing power of the citizens is being eroded by inflation and other negative economic indices and the telecoms industry is critically challenged, the best that the government can do is to provide relief for the citizens and business owners, notwithstanding its dwindling revenue.”