By Tunde Osho
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Federal Government to reverse the newly proposed increase on alcohol and tobacco products, saying that its implementation will lead to job losses and plant closures in the affected industries.
The President, MAN, Dr. Frank Jacobs, spoke on the issue in Lagos on Wednesday while addressing the media on the association’s position on the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government on March 11 approved an amendment to the excise tariff rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products which is expected to go into effect on June 4, 2018.
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, had stated that President Muhammadu Buhari, had granted a 90-day grace period to manufacturers of the affected products before the new duty regime would go into effect.
Adeosun said that the new excise duty rates would be spread over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020 in order to lessen its impact on the prices of the products.
The minister explained that the new tariff regime came about following an all-inclusive meeting between the Tariff Technical Committee of the Federal Ministry of Finance and key industry stakeholders.
Jacobs said that the association was still in consultation with the government.
“During the last presidential engagement forum, I talked about the impact of this excise duty increase on the manufacturing sector. I made it clear that if they go ahead and implement that policy, within the three years when that policy will be in full force, many of the companies that are involved in those products will close shops,” the MAN president said.