• Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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MAN condemns invasion of Dangote Cement plant by Kogi State Govt

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has condemned the invasion of the Dangote Cement Plant on Wednesday by Kogi’s state security outfit, ‘the Vigilantes’ who acted on the order of Yahaya Bello, the state governor, noting that such action will discourage new investments in the State.

Mansur Ahmed, president of, MAN while speaking at a press conference to herald it’s 50th Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled to hold on 17-19, October 2022, said such action will send a wrong message to the business owners and potential investors.

He said the illegitimate invasion was a response to an alleged tax evasion misunderstanding between the company and the state.

Ahmed said it is wrong to shut down or impose very severe restrictions on the company’s operations, especially one that provides job opportunities and economic activities on a huge scale just to enforce something adding that such action will not happen in a normal operating environment.

“if the state government has any issue against any member of its association or corporate citizen, the appropriate thing to do is to take the member to court; We have no reason not to pay taxes to the Kogi State government as and when due and I am aware that Dangote Industries is one of the highest tax-payers in Nigeria,” he said.

He said the association has taken up the matter with the federal ministry of industry, trade and investment in its bid to help address the anomaly in Kogi State and avoid a repetition, noting that there is no justification to threaten the closure of that industry as there are other measures to recover taxes

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Speaking on the upcoming AGM themed ‘an agenda for Nigeria’s Industrialisation for the next decade’, the president said there was need to take stock of the nation’s journey to industrialisation, to ascertain the pains and to highlight the performance limiters; recognise the gains and growth milestones; and to identify the learning curves and hurdles ahead.

He added that over the years, the performance of the manufacturing sector has been constrained by numerous familiar challenges that are clearly espoused in its numerous presentations and submissions to the government.

“In some climes, when the economy slows down, government reduces taxes to encourage businesses to expand, create more jobs and increase economic activities. What we are seeing in Nigeria today is not only increasing tax rate but introducing new taxes and turning every public agency into a revenue collector,” he said.

Ahmed said it is a matter of great concern to the members of MAN that even as the economy continues to experience very slow growth, policymakers at all levels continue to compound the situation by introducing new taxes; further worsening the difficult and high-cost operating environment.

Segun Ajayi Kadir, director-general, MAN said the federal government’s plan to impose excise duty on non-alcoholic drinks is ill-timed, adding that the increase in excise on new products started this year.

“We have a three-year plan on the escalation of excise duty; all that was thrown into the dustbin and a new and higher one was introduced and targeted at killing the industry, This should be rescinded immediately and that is the only way this sector can survive,” he said.