The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has advised the Abuja Municipal Area Councils (AMAC) and other government bodies against alleged plan to impose N100,00.00 tax or levy on bakery and other businesses in Abuja.
In a statement in Abuja signed by the ACCI president, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, it called the attention of the Abuja area councils to the current high inflation rate in the country, warning that imposing generator and equipment taxes on businesses would further increase the cost of doing business in the territory.
While urging the councils to explore other means of raising revenue such as public-private partnership, among others, the chamber reminded the councils that the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration had previously restated his desire to harmonize taxation and tax administration within the FCT as a way of incentivizing businesses and boosting economic activities in the FCT.
“Imposition of new taxes like the generator and equipment taxes will not only be additional burden to be borne by business owners, it will accelerate the collapse of more businesses, deepen unemployment and further hike inflation rate in the country. This is clearly not in the best interest of government and people of the country”, the statement noted.
The statement recalled that participants at ACCI webinar to mark the World MSME Day had unanimously advocated the harmonization of SME taxation, warning that targeting bakery and other businesses for generator and equipment taxes was insensitive and a threat to food and national security.
“We already wrote a letter to Mr. President and other relevant authorities calling for harmonization of taxes for SMEs. This is the best way to stop the high rate of business failure, create jobs and boost the GDP, as over 90 per cent of Nigerian businesses are SMEs.
“Bakery business across the country are under serious operational challenges due to high cost of raw materials, epileptic power supply and high cost of logistics which have necessitated the steady increase of prices of bread. Consequently, many bakeries have shut down operations.
“We call on the leadership of Abuja Municipal Area Council as well as other government agencies to suspend the planned imposition of generator and equipment taxes, as this is inconsistent with the Federal Government’s programmes to create attractive business climate for business owners,” the statement added.