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MAN Urges FG to Suspend Proposed 2023 Fiscal Policy Measures



MAN 2023 Fiscal Policy Measures

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has asked the federal government to suspend the planned excise duty increase on alcoholic beverages and tobacco, arguing that the headwinds in the economic environment would put more pressure on members.

At a stakeholders’ meeting on Tuesday, MAN raised significant concerns about the provisions of the 2023 Fiscal Policy Measures (FPM), including the record increase in excise on beverages and tobacco and the introduction of a tax on Single Use Plastics (SUP), amongst others.

Speaking at the event, the president of the association, Mr Festus Meshioye, lamented that the FG, despite past assurances that it would not increase excise in beverages and tobacco, reneged and has planned a new increase as contained in the 2023 Fiscal Policy Measures (FPM).

The Muhammadu Buhari administration initiated a 3-year excise roadmap system in 2018 after extensive consultation with the industry, and the roadmap ran successfully until its conclusion in 2021 without any change or issues.

MAN said this enabled the industry to plan its operations, given the certainty in excise successfully. In 2021, the government retained the excise rates for 2020/21 until May 2022, while it used the 1-year period to engage extensively with the industry to decide on a revised roadmap.

Following this engagement, the government released the 2022 FPM with a revised 3-year excise roadmap which, though providing for higher excise rates, still took into consideration input from the industry and the potential impact on the economy.

However, barely five months into the implementation of the 2022 excise roadmap, the industry became aware of fresh plans by the government to increase excise rates further.

MAN bemoaned this development and said this signifies ‘an increase on the increase’ since there was already an approved increase in place for 2023.

Mr Meshioye said that the manufacturing sector is immersed in an unprecedented crisis and an acute recession due to extraordinary challenges, which he said include “sustained scarcity of naira which has led to a crash in consumer purchases; limited access to foreign exchange, which has led the industry to purchase foreign exchange from the parallel market, thereby increasing costs; high inflation which is driving up the cost of operation and prices of products and a struggling economy.”

“This has impacted the industry. For instance, the brewing sector suffered a massive decline of 169 per cent in profit before tax in Q1 2023. Also, the industry turnover for non-alcoholic beverages and tobacco declined by 15 per cent, while gross profit and profit before tax declined by 31 per cent and 96 per cent within the same period, respectively,” he revealed.

He also noted that other worries include the burdensome increase in excise on beer and tobacco, which have tripled and quintupled as well as the impact on sales due to the Naira scarcity.

He warned that, “A continuing decline in sale volumes will necessitate production cuts and a reevaluation of investments in the sector. Specifically, if sales proceeds can no longer sustain business overheads and operating expenses, businesses will be forced to scale down their operations which would result in factory closures, job losses, a decline in exports, and much more.”

MAN also warned that a decline in sales and profitability of the industry would result in a decline in the industry’s total tax contribution to the government because company income tax (CIT), value-added tax (VAT), and education tax are directly tied to the performance and profitability of the companies.

The association further warned that it would not be able to support other businesses within its value chain, cutting across agriculture, logistics, bottling, labelling, and packaging businesses, as well as distribution, wholesale, and retail businesses, catering to over 950,000 direct and indirect employees.

MAN then called on the outgoing government to suspend the 2023 FPM and retain the 2022 -2024 excise duties roadmap as approved in the 2022 FPM to foster stability in the affected sectors and their value chain in the interest of the national economy.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.


Subsidy Removal: CNG at N130 Per Litre Cheaper Than Petrol—IPMAN




By Adedapo Adesanya

The Independent Petroleum Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has advised Nigerians to begin to look into the direction of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as an alternative energy source to cushion the effect of subsidy removal.

The National President of IPMAN, Mr Chinedu Okorokwo, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday, as the federal government continues its dialogue with the organised labour over the hike in the price of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise known as petrol.

On May 29, 2023, during his inaugural speech, President Bola Tinubu said the payment of subsidy for fuel had ended because there was no provision for it in the 2023 budget beyond June 30.

His announcement triggered the hoarding of fuel by marketers, and when the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited increased the price of the product across its retail outlets, prices of food, transportation and services went up, forcing the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to threaten a nationwide strike, which was supposed to start today but was stopped by the National Industrial Court.

At a meeting on Monday night between the government and the labour unions, it was agreed that the adoption of CNG as an alternative fuel would be the best option, and it was agreed that the CNG conversion programme earlier planned in 2021 should be revived.

CNG, which is a gas mainly composed of methane and produces less emission, is the cleanest burning fuel operating today with less vehicle maintenance and longer engine life.

In the interview with NAN, Mr Okoronkwo said bringing CNG, which was cheaper than even firewood, as an alternative energy, would create relief for the government and its citizens.

“We have also discovered that bringing an alternative that is cheaper than even firewood which is CNG, will not only create relief for the government and its citizens but it is environmentally friendly.

“The CNG is abundantly available in Nigeria than anywhere in Africa.

“In the Niger Delta region, you see billions of tonnes of gas flare being wasted daily, these are huge amounts that should be accruing to our GDP, but we are wasting it because there is no market for it.

“So, we are asking the government to create the market. How do you create the market?

“What Egypt and India did was to give soft loans to be paid back within stipulated periods; from there, you can get vehicles to use gas instead of fuel,” he said.

“There’s a franchise for the bottling of CNG so that an average woman in the kitchen can use it,’’ he added, noting that the introduction of CNG would cushion the effect occasioned by the high price of fuel currently as a litre of CNG would not cost more than N130.

He advised that repairing the local refineries as well would reduce the impact of the removal as it would eliminate the cost of importation and exportation.

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Nigeria Upgrades Tax-to-GDP Ratio to 10.86% From 6%



tax-to-GDP ratio

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has disclosed that Nigeria’s tax to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio has been upwardly reviewed to 10.86 per cent from the 6 per cent earlier reported to reflect better data sources and improved estimation using the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) manual.

The OECD manual is an improvement over the System of National Accounts (SNA 2008) classification of taxes.

Although the System of National Accounts conceptual framework and its definitions of the various sectors of the economy are reflected in the OECD’s classification of taxes, the OECD classifications provide the maximum disaggregation of statistical data on what is generally regarded as taxes by tax administrations.

In a disclosure, the statistics office said the country’s total tax revenue compared with its GDP was at that level in 2021, higher than 8.40 per cent in 2020, which was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the previous year, the ratio was 10.20 per cent, marginally lower than the 10.36 per cent recorded in 2018 but higher than the 9.02 per cent in 2017.

The NBS said the revised computation considered more comprehensive coverage of data at the federal, state, and local government levels and revenue items not previously included in the computations, particularly relevant revenue collected by other government agencies.

The review of the tax-to-GDP ratio was initiated by the Federal Inland Revenue Service, which collaborated with the Federal Ministry of Finance and the NBS for better measurement of the ratio.

The data used were sourced from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), FIRS, NBS, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the Joint Tax Board (JTB), and other relevant agencies of government that collect revenue.

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VFD Group to Join Nigerian Exchange After Exit From NASD



VFD Group

By Adedapo Adesanya

VFD Group Plc has announced its intention to list its shares on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) after leaving the NASD Over-the-Counter Securities Exchange, where it has been trading its stocks for the past three years.

This development, according to analysts, is a strategic move that would allow the company to gain access to public equity markets, increase its visibility, and strengthen its financial position.

VFD Group Plc is a leading proprietary investment company with a proven track record of generating attractive returns for its investors through a variety of investment strategies.

The company has a diverse portfolio of investments in various sectors, including banking, technology, media, energy, and real estate. The group has been listed on the NASD OTC Securities Exchange since 2020.

Speaking on this big step, Mr Nonso Okpala, Group Managing Director of VFD Group, stated, “We are excited to take this next step in the evolution of our company.”

“Listing on a major stock exchange will give us access to a larger pool of investors, enhance our profile, and provide superior returns to our investors,” he added.

With the intention of listing on the NGX, the company will delist from the NASD and is subject to regulatory approvals and market conditions.

VFD Group noted that it would provide additional updates as the listing process progresses.

At the close of business on Tuesday, the securities of the organisation closed on the NASD OTC exchange at N244.88 per unit, the same rate they finished in the preceding trading session.

Business Post reports that the NASD was created to provide an avenue for public companies to transition smoothly into the country’s main stock exchange.

However, it has witnessed the movement of firms from the NGX to the NASD, especially due to the very strict regulatory requirements by the former.

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