By Agbonkhese Oboh
Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, and Distillers and Blenders Association of Nigeria, DIBAN, have rejected the Federal Government’s hike in excise duties on wines and spirits produced locally, describing it as an “International Monetary Fund, IMF-backed policy that is wrong for the economy and bad for business.”
Speaking at a briefing in Lagos, DIBAN’s Chairman, Engr. Patrick Anegbe, said: “We are not against government fiscal revenue drive. But this policy must be halted until wide consultations with stakeholders.
“The hike can lead to collapse of indigenous wines and spirits sector, leading to job loss and a multiplier negative effect on other sub-sectors. It threatens N420 billion investments.”
The Federal Government had, in March, announced a new excise duty of N1,350 per case, from N270, in the first year; and in the second year, N1,800. This is about 545 percent increase. Government gave 90 days before implementation commences.
However, at the briefing which had Director-General, MAN, Mr. Segun Ajayi Kadiri; Secretary General of DIBAN, Mr. Fatai Odesile among others in attendance, the unions said the policy will not only destroy local industry, which they say puts a question mark on government’s promise to diversify the economy, but will make the wines and spirits industry unregulated and unmonitored, thereby constituting health hazard.
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