The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has expressed worry over the number of taxes imposed on businesses in the country.
According to the Director General of NECA, Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, organised businesses are burdened with over 50 different taxes, levies and fees – both legally and illegally.
He also frowned at some of the provisions of the Finance Bill 2022 recently passed by the National Assembly, particularly the increase in Tertiary Education Tax (TET) from 2.5% to 3.0%. He said the TET was increased without regard for the current economic situation faced by businesses.
Multiple taxes: Citing different taxes being paid by businesses in the country, he said:
“Several taxes being paid by businesses in Nigeria taxes include company income tax; stamp duties; petroleum profit tax; capital gains tax, value added tax; personal income tax; withholding tax; tertiary education tax, among others. Increasing the Tertiary Education Tax is another burden too much.
“Also, increasing the CIT rate for a gas-flaring company from the standard 30% to 50% is also worrisome, considering the fact these companies are already covered in the Petroleum Industry Act. This can be a recipe for further divestment.”
“Also, the imposition of excise duty at rates to be specified via presidential order on all services including telecommunication services is too broad and vague. This can be subject to abuse and further strangulation of the business community, he said.
Need for changes: He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to request the National Assembly to do the needful by taking into cognisance the concerns of organised businesses. He stressed the need to expunge all anti-business provisions in the bill.
“It is absurd that the national assembly will consider and pass the finance bill in an unusual manner and without the input and contributions of critical stakeholders,” Oyerinde added.