The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), has called on the Federal Government to take deliberate steps to contain rising inflation and high taxation in Nigeria.
The call was made the President of ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, in a New Year message, in which he urged governments at all levels to embrace policies that will favour businesses.
Abubakar called the attention of the government on the issue of high taxation, with its consequent counterproductive effect.
He said: “We suggest broadening the tax base and reducing the tax rates. Increasing level of inflation, high taxes, and high-interest rates contribute to increasing the cost of production.
“This has resulted in many businesses not breaking even and many are closing shops. The situation is further complicated by insecurity challenges and the exchange rate instability. We recommend easing the harsh business environment by transforming regulatory agencies into facilitating bodies.
“In a drive to generate funds at all cost, businesses in Abuja are subjected to more than five levels of taxation. This needs to change so that SMEs can thrive and employ more workers to ease the increasing level of unemployment.
“The Chamber believes that the economy grows and GDP multiplies when government’s policies, agencies, and programs facilitate rather than impede businesses.”
We suggest broadening the tax base and reducing the tax rates. Increasing level of inflation, high taxes, and high-interest rates contribute to increasing the cost of production.
Abubakar also tasked Nigerians to regard the challenges of 2021 as “a motivation for concerted efforts to persist in building their businesses despite the harsh fiscal environment.
“Businessmen and women in Nigeria should remain undaunted and consistent in applying innovative methods and strategies to sustain their businesses in 2022.
“Operators of small and medium scale businesses should not relent but continue to advocate for improved business climate in Nigeria.”
He noted that COVID-19 has pushed businesses around the globe over the technology tipping point, giving rise to new industry challenges, and has transformed business forever.
He continued: “Our way of life was slowly and gradually getting back to normal, but with the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, we might have to face a blow to optimistic hopes of economies entering 2022 on a firmer footing.
“Fast learning and adaptation to the new business context have become extremely important now more than ever before. It is time to rethink business strategies and techniques and reimagine business models based on post-pandemic industry trends.
“With carefully formulated tools and well-advanced preparation, the toughest challenges could be turned into opportunities. We call on the government to intensify its efforts in providing the technology and digital infrastructure well needed for new business techniques in line with current realities.”