Beverage employers seek govt collaboration amid seven per cent pre-tax profit decline
The need for the Federal Government to collaborate with the Association of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employers (AFBTE), in ensuring that the environment is conducive for business to thrive has been emphasised.
This comes as the sector suffered seven per cent decline in pre-tax profit in 2018, as a result of the slow pace of recovery in the economy, delay in the passage of the 2018 budget, and insecurity in some parts of the country, which constrained business operations.
To curtail losses, the employers urged government to continuously dialogue with the association and its members, while its policy on the Ease of Doing Business should be enforced.
The association, which emphasised this during its 40th yearly general meeting in Lagos, said the collaboration became necessary as the manufacturing sector that is dominated by the food, beverage and tobacco industry could generate a major value of output.
Its President, Patrick Anegbe, in his address said some government’s policy measure introduced in the year negated the policy on ease of doing business, and as such threatened the existence of some of the industry’s businesses.
He mentioned some of the changes witnessed during the period to include the upward review of excise duty on alcohol beverages and tobacco products, the proposed implementation of the transfer pricing regulations, the planned ban on production of alcoholic beverage in sachets and small size PET bottles, and the demand by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), for payment of sales promotion organised by companies under the guise that it is a lottery among others.
AFBTE urged government to enact, implement and enforce policies and regulations aimed at encouraging manufacturers, noting that the issues of multiple taxes and cross-functional activities of the agencies needed to be addressed, as it affects the players in the manufacturing industry.
Because of the industry’s role in human life and health, Anegbe urged members to ensure food safety because of the rampant cases of adulteration and counterfeiting.
The association’s executive secretary, Adewale Jones, who gave a report on the activities during the period commended members of the secretariat for their immense support.