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NASME seeks improved intervention funds for SME development

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…Commends FIRS over extension of tax penalty
Members of the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), have sought government’s support through provision of intervention funds and a refinancing scheme to promote Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development while expanding its tax net.

Besides, the body has commended the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for extending the tax penalty and interest waiver period to December 31, 2016, noting that this move would help to promote Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development and capture more SMEs
into the tax net.

The President and Chairman of council (NASME), Prince Degun Agboade, explained that the window which had already closed on the 24th of November, 2016, expressed gratitude to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for the extension. He added that the association will bring its members up to speed to take advantage of the extension.

Agboade while addressing journalists said: “This extension will be beneficial to our members in a way that they would package and speed up their documentation to use the opportunity. I am sure that a lot of our people will go back into the tax net and when many people come into the tax net, this will translate to more revenue for the Federal Government. This is a win-win situation for both the government and members of the association.”

He urged its members to take advantage of the extension to apply through the association of the FIRS after a Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) on tax and regulatory policy framework for MSMEs in Nigeria.

He added that recommendations of the PPD said the Lagos Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) would work with the NASME-led coalition to set up an automated customer desk for enquiries, requests and complaints while working with NASME to enlighten the public on the differences between taxes, fees and charges.

He pointed out that the Federal Ministry of Finance would also work with the NASME-led coalition to look into the reduction of personal income tax, while ensuring that the revised recommendations from the National Policy Review Committee would be passed into legislation by 2017.

He said according to the PPD, there is an ongoing classification of MSMEs sector based on local government area by the Lagos State government that is currently being reviewed while acknowledging the need to have a business complaint desk to address concerns relating to MSMEs in different Local Government Areas (LGAs).

Members of the MSME tax advocacy coalition committee include NASME, FATE foundation, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN), NACCIMA, Accounting Education and Research Service (ACCERS), Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NASME Lagos Chapter and many more.

The Executive Secretary, NASME, Eke Ubiji, stated that development banks should be allowed to continue the jobs they are doing in supporting and promoting SME development in the country, saying that the proposed bill to scrap the Bank of Industry (BOI) is not necessary.

“The DFI has over the years proven itself as a bank for SME development. Any attempt to scrap it would spell doom for SMEs and economic growth since most developed economies have transformed their economies paying serious attention to their SME sub sector,” he said.

Also speaking at the event, the Managing Director, Goodware Stitches Limited, Mrs. Matilda Taiwo, called for more intervention fund and refinancing funds for both new and existing SMEs, pointing out that SMEs need all the support of the federal government to achieve its full potential of transforming the nation’s economy.


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