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Group issues FG ultimatum for review of excise duty on tobacco, alcoholic beverages

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A coalition of the Business Renaissance Group (BRG) and Sustained Development Collective (SDC) has given the Federal Government a 30-day ultimatum to review the excise duty on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, with a view to reducing it to reflect present day reality.

This followed the recently announced and amendment to the existing tariff, excise duty on locally produced wines, spirits, as well as tobacco products by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing, President of the coalition, Omife I. Omife, said the astronomical increase in excise duty was bound to endanger the sector if not reviewed and reversed.

His words: “If immediate steps are not taken to review the new excise legislation the local wines and spirit industry will be prone to massive job loss of about 25,000 direct employees and over 200,000 indirect employees and beneficiaries.

“The current excise at 20 percent for spirits amounts to N31 per litre while the new excise as announced by Adeosun amount to N200 per litre of spirits and N150 for wines. This is over 500 per cent increase and beggars belief, to say the least.”

He said the group gave the Federal Government a 30-day grace period for the Minister of Finance to revert to the status quo or at best modify the amendment based on input from critical stakeholders whose opinions must be sought so as to collectively arrive at a new legislation.

Such legislation, it argued would impact positively on the government, industry and the people and ultimately help the further growth and development of the country.

Omife explained that it was one of the duties of the coalition to campaign for fair and best consideration in public administration and governance especially as it pertains to the economy.


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