The Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) has expressed concern over the federal government’s plans to increase excise charges on some products saying it is counterproductive. In a statement published on its electronic bulletin, the Chamber said increasing excise charges will inadvertently cause more harm to the already struggling manufacturing sector and also fuel job losses.
The chamber also said increasing the excise charges will be a digression from the 2022 Fiscal Policy Measures and Tariffs Amendments (FPM 2022) that was just adopted recently. The roadmap covers the excise expansion from 2022-2024 as approved by the president in March 2022.
It said, “While we understand and appreciate the need to improve federal government income, a holistic review of the peculiarities of Nigeria’s current micro and macroeconomic realities as well as the impact of these on businesses and Nigerians specifically, should be undertaken. This is to ensure sustainability and minimise the negative impact on the affected sectors including the value chain which will be the hardest hit. Long and medium term plans and policies that will allow for the engagement and input of all stakeholders usually yield optimal outcomes.”
According to the chamber, the manufacturing sector is currently struggling to stay ontop but it’s been faced with issues which include skyrocketing energy costs, rising inflation, foreign exchange scarcity, poor and inadequate infrastructure, increasing difficulties associated with ease of doing business, and other headwinds that increasingly challenge competitiveness in the global market.
It therefore advised the federal government to retain the excise regime as contained in the approved FPM 2022, at least from 2022 to 2024, because any sudden hike in excise would be counterproductive.