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Monday, October 2, 2023

Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN) opposes recently announced increase in Excise


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The Organised Private Sector of Nigeria (OPSN), comprising the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), the Nigerian Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI), and the Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) has strongly opposed the recently announced increase in excise rates as contained in the circular dated 20th April 2023, signed by the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning. The increase is unwarranted, ill-timed and inimical to the Nigerian economy and the manufacturing sector in particular, and the OPSN calls for its immediate reversal.

According to statement jointly signed by the Director-General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, mni; Director-General, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Olusola Obadimu; Director-General, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Adewale Smatt-Oyerinde; Director-General, Nigeran Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI), Engr. Ifeanyi Christopher Oputa and Chairman, Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), Mr. Eke Ubiji.

The manufacturing sector is presently grappling with unprecedented challenges including the sustained scarcity of Naira, limited access to foreign exchange, a struggling economy and persistent inflation, alongside perennial problems of multiple taxation and epileptic power supply. These challenges have resulted in a record crash in sales for most businesses running into billions of Naira, with the result that manufacturers are struggling to remain in business, amidst looming job cuts, mothballing of factories and total shutdown of businesses. Therefore, increasing excise rates at this time is extremely ill-advised and may sound the death knell for affected businesses and their contribution to the national economy, even as the broader manufacturing sector continues to deteriorate.

In light of the above, the OPSN respectfully requests the Federal Government to urgently reverse the increase in excise rates to protect the affected industries and the dependent businesses in their extended value chain from imminent collapse with calamitous consequences for the economy. We further request that the Federal Government suspends excise taxes in the manufacturing sector for a minimum of six months, to arrest the alarming decline in the sector. Similar measures have been taken in countries like South Africa and the United Arab Emirates, in recent times.

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We would also like to use this opportunity to request that the Central Bank of Nigeria urgently deploys measures to fully alleviate the Naira scarcity crisis and prioritise foreign exchange allocations to the productive sector.

The OPSN acknowledges the efforts of the Buhari administration in supporting the manufacturing sector and remains confident that our request will be accorded the prompt and positive response it truly deserves in the best interest of industry, government, and the Nigerian economy at this critical time.

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