CPPE urges FG to align fiscal policy with finance and appropriation laws – The Sun Nigeria
By Merit Ibe
While Appreciating the intent and objective of the 2022 fiscal policy approved for implementation from April 1, the Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprises (CPPE) recommended that policy measures be issued alongside the Finance and credits.
The center, which said it would facilitate planning, reduce uncertainty, minimize investment risk and boost investor confidence, proposed that the fiscal policy be released starting January 1.
Welcoming the 90-day grace period that has been provided for the implementation of the tariff component of fiscal policy and the Ministry of Finance for creating this transition window to minimize the shocks of fiscal policy changes on investors , the Centre’s CEO, Dr Muda Yusuf said he was concerned about the bureaucracy inherent in obtaining approvals from the Federal Ministry of Finance for the importation of items with preferential import duties.
“We would like to see these bottlenecks removed. While appreciating the essence of the national list, we would like to propose that access to tax incentives be free of bottlenecks and bureaucracy.
Yusuf lamented that the experience of importers and the business community with seeking approvals from government departments before tax incentives could be enjoyed was often fraught with frustrating bureaucracy, bottlenecks, delays and sometimes delays. ‘extortion. He therefore recommended that once the budget policy document is approved by the government, the Nigeria Customs Service be allowed to fully implement these policies without resorting to the ministry for further approvals.
“We believe Customs is competent enough to interpret tax policy and determine eligibility for tax incentives. The idea of requesting approval and exemption certificates from the Ministry of Finance or any other ministry is not in line with the spirit of ease of doing business and should therefore be dropped.
The CPPE boss praised the removal from the export ban list of items that were previously imported into the country and the government’s approval of import duty and VAT exemptions on essential medical supplies, in particular for COVID interventions.
Although the policy stipulates that the waivers and exemptions would only last until the end of 2022, Yusuf argued that these concessions should last beyond 2022 due to the cost of health care in Nigeria which is extremely high. and makes access to health care very difficult for the majority of its citizens.
“Without a comprehensive health insurance scheme, many citizens pay out of pocket, which has made access to health insurance very difficult.
“Access to health care is an essential element of human capital development. Therefore, the cheaper, the easier the access, the better for human capital development. We therefore estimate that this concession should last beyond 2022.
Regarding the imposition of excise duties, he said it makes Nigerian products more expensive compared to products from neighboring countries which are part of the same economic community as Nigeria.
Yusuf noted that the implication is that Nigerian industrialists will lose market share to countries in the West African sub-region under the ECOWAS trade liberalization program because the cost of production in the country is much higher and that the imposition of excise duties would make domestically produced products more expensive.
“There is also the social involvement of citizens whose incomes have been heavily bartered by the strong inflationary pressure.
We therefore call once again that the timing of the imposition of excise duties on certain manufacturing companies is auspicious and should therefore be suspended to demonstrate greater sensitivity to the plight of manufacturers in the Nigerian economy.