The decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to exclude some items from accessing foreign exchange (forex) has been backed by the Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Bature Umar Massari.
The DG said that the reason behind the CBN’s decision was to stimulate domestic production by encouraging local industries to rise up to the challenge of producing the excluded goods thereby creating jobs.
He said: “There is a need to impose very small tax on all finished products that are coming into the country. There are Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that are drawing their funding from sustainable taxation of some items.
“Looking at the MSMEs in Nigeria, it is so huge that government funding alone cannot support it. We are not talking about the bureaucracy in the establishment, we are talking about providing a sustainable means of funding that can support MSME and development that we are advocating for.
“If the government deems it fit and supports our idea on some form of taxation on finished products that are coming into the country where there are taxes already, it is going to be very minimal and the importers are not going to feel it; the overriding desire is for Nigeria to begin to produce those items on which taxes are being imposed. We should not be seen to be importing everything into the country, and by taxing this items to support local production, we are helping the economy and entrepreneurs.
“The problem with the disbursement of N220billion MSMEs fund is that not many Nigerians are applying to access the fund. I have requested for data for my office from the CBN; we are currently analysing the data with a view to advising the National Council on the progress recorded on the disbursement of the Fund.
Credit to The Nation.