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Hike in excise charges counterproductive, chamber tells FG

The Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NCBC) yesterday expressed concern over plans by the federal government to increase excise charges on some products. The chamber,…

The Nigerian British Chamber of Commerce (NCBC) yesterday expressed concern over plans by the federal government to increase excise charges on some products.

The chamber, in a statement published on its electronic bulletin, said increasing excise charges would further hurt the manufacturing sector which is currently “struggling” and also fuel job losses.

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It said increasing the excise charges would be a digression from its recently adopted 2022 Fiscal Policy Measures and Tariffs Amendments (FPM 2022) roadmap which covers the excise expansion from 2022-2024 as approved by the president in March 2022.

It said, “While we understand and appreciate the need to improve federal government income, a holistic review of the peculiarities of Nigeria’s current micro and macroeconomic realities as well as the impact of these on businesses and Nigerians specifically, should be undertaken.

“This is to ensure sustainability and minimise the negative impact on the affected sectors including the value chain which will be the hardest hit. Long and medium term plans and policies that will allow for the engagement and input of all stakeholders usually yield optimal outcomes.”

According to the chamber, the manufacturing sector is currently contending with sundry issues which include skyrocketing energy costs, rising inflation, foreign exchange scarcity, poor and inadequate infrastructure, increasing difficulties associated with ease of doing business, and other headwinds that increasingly challenge competitiveness in the global market.

It, however, advised the federal government to retain the approved excise regime as contained in the approved FPM 2022, covering the period from 2022 to 2024, warning that any sudden hike in excise would be counterproductive.