Soft Drink, Beverage Makers Heave Sign of Relief After 10% Plastic Tax Halt

July 7, 2023
Soft Drinks in Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya

Manufacturers, primarily soft drinks and beverage makers, have temporarily heaved a sign of relief after President Bola Tinubu on Thursday ordered the suspension of a newly introduced 10 per cent tax on single-use plastics and excise duty on some locally manufactured products to reduce business costs.

The President’s spokesman, Mr Dele Alake, said yesterday that his boss signed executive orders suspending a green tax on single-use plastics, including plastic containers and bottles, that was introduced in March by the erstwhile administration of Muhammadu Buhari.

In May, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), at a press conference in Lagos, lamented the rising cost of doing business and raised issues about the Single Use Plastics tax, among other concerns.

According to its Director-General, Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, “We would also like to use this opportunity to reiterate our concerns about the Single Use Plastics tax.

“Our primary concern is that it does not appear to have a basis in law, as it is not provided for under the Customs, Excise, Tariff, etc (Consolidation) Act (CETA), unlike beverages and tobacco. The tax will also further fuel inflation and weaken consumer purchasing power without achieving the desired climate change objective.”

He noted that the association would deliberate with the incoming administration on the way forward, calling on it to “reverse the tax on Single Use Plastics and engage with relevant stakeholders to facilitate ongoing initiatives, which have a better prospect of achieving the desired environmental objectives.”

Nigeria is the ninth largest plastic polluter in the world and produces over 2 million tonnes of plastic waste annually, proponents have argued that the law would help cut down on this, but from the business angle, this would have reflected in an increment in the price of goods and could hurt their bottom line.

Mr Alake said the President also suspended the implementation of a five per cent telecoms tax first proposed by the previous government and stopped an increase in car import duty and excise duty on selected goods manufactured locally.

“As a listening leader, the president issued these orders to ameliorate the negative impacts of the tax adjustments on businesses and chokehold on households across affected sectors,” Mr Alake told reporters in Abuja.

There would be no further tax rises without wider consultations,” the former Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy said, adding that President Tinubu would pursue business-friendly policies.

Adedapo Adesanya

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.

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