By Charles Nwaoguji
The Organised Private Sector (OPS) has called for a concessionary tax rate for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) in order to promote job creation and inclusive growth as enshrined in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
According to the Director General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr. Muda Yusuf, the Small businesses more vulnerable to the current challenges in the economy, hence the high mortality rate.
Yusuf, who made this called in an interview with Daily Sun, recently, said that this group of businesses, therefore, deserve every support that the government can give.
He expressed worry over the practice by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) instructing the banks to put a lien on the accounts of alleged tax defaulters. The Director General stressed the need for FIRS to adhere strictly to due process in dealing with issues of alleged tax defaults.
“There should be a proper communication and engagement with taxpayers to properly ascertain a tax liability before such extreme actions of invocation of a lien on the accounts of companies are teken. This practice is very disruptive and has caused grave embarrassment to many corporate organizations,” he explained.
Commenting on the persistent delays in the issuance of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) to importers by the Nigeria Customs Service, he said this situation is contributing to cost escalation for many businesses, cargoes are delayed unduly leading to the payment of avoidable demurrage and high interest cost on borrowed funds by importers.
He stated that the protracted delays in the issuance of PAAR is a negation of the policy of the government on Ease of Doing Business.
He called on the government to urgently intervene to put an end to the persistent delays in the issuance of PAAR.
He expressed concern about the investigating activities of anti-graft agencies and regulatory institutions regarding alleged infractions by corporate organisations.
He admonished that such investigation, as much as possible, be conducted in a discreet manner devoid of any form of media hype.
“This is necessary to avoid unwarranted reputational damage and erosion of investors confidence. This position does not diminish the significance of compliance by corporate organisations with extant laws and the imperative of proportional sanctions for proven cases of infringements of the law,” he said .
“ It is also important that there should be proper coordination between regulatory institutions and anti graft agencies in dealing with suspected regulatory infractions to avoid duplication of investigative actions.”