The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Federal Government to consider a downward review the Company Income Tax (CIT) in order to enhance the capacity of manufacturers.
The fiscal measure, according to the group, is imperative given the current prevailing operating environment for real sector operators and the need to galvanise the economy, especially the manufacturing sector, reduce poverty and fiscal deficit and create jobs.
The President of the association, Dr. Frank Jacobs, who made the call at the MAN/Commerce Industry Correspondent Association of Nigeria press briefing held in Lagos.
While noting that the current recurrent expenditure of the public sector remains high, the seasoned industrialist canvassed the need to close budget gaps with a view to also reducing both domestic and external borrowings and the associated service charges.
He said: “Deliberately shed the current borrowing size of the government in the domestic financial market so as not to completely crowd-out the private sector. Budget implementation which is usually the bane of our budgetary process should henceforth not be tardy but effectively executed.
Jacobs urged the Federal Government to fast-track action on the resource-based industrialisation programme adopted by it by deliberately funding and creating enabling environment for industrial growth, including the accelerated development of key selected mineral resources through backward integration, especially those with high inter-industry linkages.
He also asked for the release of part of the money kept in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) to the commercial banks such that the lenders can provide credit to genuine industrialists and other economic players with the attendant positive multiplier effects on various sectors of the economy.
On the ongoing moves by Morocco, a member of the European Union (EU), to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Jacobs advised the Federal Government to block the North African country’s admission into the community as admitting it will under-mine current efforts to revitalize the sub-regional economies.
“The implication is that admitting Morocco who is a member of the EU will result in signing EPA through the back door, so, our members cannot compete favorably with them. This means that products from Europe would find their way easily into the regional market. If there is no ulterior motive, I see no reason why Morocco that is in the North Africa wants to join ECOWAS.”