In light of the impact such taxes would have on the expansion of the sector and the creation of jobs, stakeholders in the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector have urged the government at all levels to refrain from imposing excessive taxes on small firms.
They demanded that local, state, and federal governments harmonize the taxes they impose on MSMEs in order to lessen their financial burden and benefit the country.
They asserted that the sector still employs more than half of the labor force in the nation as of right now and warned that failing to address concerns about double taxation will further increase the level of unmanageable unemployment in the nation.
Speaking to The Guardian on the double taxation problems facing MSMEs in Nigeria, Paul Bou Nigeria Ltd.’s managing director and chief executive, Eze Uzuegbu, emphasized the urgent need for the government to address the issue right away.
“Today, all of us are aware that the issues of insecurity, high production costs, high transportation costs, among others, have significantly hampered the expansion of MSMEs, making matters worse, just as governments’ application of various taxes increases the cost of production,” said Uzuegbu.
“Many MSMEs are closing their doors on a daily basis. This shouldn’t be the case because many jobs have been eliminated, leaving young people vulnerable to idleness; the results of this may be seen in the rising crime rate.
He urged the government to establish a business cluster environment based on themes in order to lower costs and increase the production of high-quality goods for both domestic and international markets.
In order to help SMEs expand their businesses to standards, he also pushed for tax exemptions and incentives for them.
The President of the Chamber, Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, emphasized the need for the government to offer small businesses a breathing space from numerous taxes during a recent SME Conference and Exhibition organized by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
Mr. Durojaiye Moses, the Chief Executive of Dideola and Co, a manufacturer of plastics, requested the government to create an MSMEs’ fund to aid operators rather than providing lenient loans to friends and relatives of individuals in positions of authority.