Corporations and businesses may see their taxes increase by 0.5 percent if assent is given to the Competition and Consumer Protection Bill submitted by the National Assembly to the presidency.
business a.m gathered from the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) that there is an inclusion of a tax provision of 0.5 percent on companies to fund the establishment of a planned commission or agency to promote fair, efficient and competitive markets in the country.
NECA in an advertorial at the weekend said some ‘retrogressive forces’ went behind the stakeholders after the public hearing
on the bill to insert the tax of 0.5 percent, and that at no time, during the public hearing, was there a discussion on the imposition of the tax.
The employers and business body said it welcomes and in fact actively supported the introduction of a dispensation where an institution will exist to promote fair, efficient and competitive markets in the country but detest the attempt to further increase the burden of tax on companies.
“While the private sector welcomed and in fact actively supported the introduction of a dispensation where an institution
will exist to promote fair, efficient and competitive markets in the Nigerian economy, at no time, during the public hearing on the Bill did we discuss the imposition of 0.5 percent profit after tax on all companies operating in Nigeria as a source of funding the commission,” it said, adding that the provision was not contained in the draft bill that was exposed to the public.
“So what could have been the source of this obnoxious provision that seeks to further drain life out of struggling and comatose private sector that is still labouring under the unbearable weight of multiple and overlapping taxes and levies?”
The advertorial, signed by Larry Ettah (president) and Olusegun Oshinowo (director general), therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to withhold assent to the bill in the interest of the economy and sustainable development of Nigeria.
NECA claims that there are over 55 taxes and levies of all sorts imposed on enterprises in the country by local, state and federal governments.
“In fact, this is just a conservative estimate. The question is how will businesses grow and create jobs under this draconian
fiscal framework,” it lamented, adding that businesses are being unwittingly strangulated by a hostile, unfriendly and very unreasonable tax and levy regime.
The Federal Government has embarked on aggressive tax drive in the past one a half years to fund its activities in the face of dwindling returns on the nation’s primary natural resource, oil. Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance has repeatedly said the
rate of tax avoidance and evasion is high in the country with tax to GDP ratio standing at a very poor level of 6 percent.
Analysts say tax administrators in the country have not done enough to bring more payers into the tax net but instead have continued to overtax the few that are paying.