Stakeholders claim double taxation stifling MSMEs’ growth
Stakeholders in the small and medium enterprises (SME) sector have urged the government at all levels to desist from imposing unnecessary taxes on small businesses considering the effect of such on the growth of the sector and job creation.
They called for harmonisation of taxes levied on MSMEs operators by Local, State and Federal governments to reduce their financial burden for the benefit of the nation.
As of today, they claimed that the sector still employs over 50 percent of the country’s labour force, warning that failure to address concerns about double taxation will further create uncontrollable unemployment in the country.
Speaking to The Guardian on the issues of double taxation being suffered by the MSMEs in Nigeria, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Paul Bou Nigeria Ltd, Eze Uzuegbu said that there is an urgent need for the government to address the problem without further delay.
Uzuegbu said: “Today, all of us are aware that the problems of insecurity, high cost of production, high cost of transportation among others, have greatly affected the growth of MSMEs, making things worse, just as governments’ imposition of different taxes compound production costs.
“Many of the MSMEs are folding up on a daily basis. This should not be so because several jobs have gone into extinction, making the youths to be vulnerably idle; the effects of this could be seen in the areas of increasing crime rate.”
He called on the government to create a business cluster environment based on thematic areas to help reduce cost and boost quality products for consumption and for exports.
He also advocated tax waivers and incentives to SMEs to enable them to grow their companies to standards.
Speaking at the recent SME Conference and Exhibition Organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), the President of the Chamber, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar emphasised the need for the government to give small businesses a breathing space from multiple taxation.
The Chief Executive of Dideola and Co, a company that produces plastics, Mr. Durojaiye Moses urged the government to establish an MSMEs’ fund to assist operators instead of giving soft loans to friends and relations of those in positions of authority.