The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has lauded the Federal Government’s decision to suspend the proposed telecoms tax in view of the myriad of economic challenges faced by operators and Nigerians in general.
Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Wale-Smatt Oyerinde, the director-general of the association, 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”.
According to Oyerinde, at this time, the government needs to focus more on creating a favourable environment for businesses to address the challenges of rising unemployment and its consequential negative social effects like banditry.
He stressed that “while the nation grapples with revenue challenges, we urge government to equally drop the idea of increasing excise on spirits, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages as being proposed. These increases, 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.
He added: “rather than overburden businesses that are already struggling, 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.”
The DG argued that organised businesses currently face major operational and sustainability challenges, and that the government should not contribute to the death of more businesses.
“Businesses are not striving to be competitive again but are now more concerned with sustainability. The trend of multiplicity of taxes and other unfavorable economic factors have led to the shut down of many businesses while some others relocated to neighboring countries.”, he noted.