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MSMEs Day: ACCI, stakeholders seek legislation, executive order to streamline MSMEs taxation

Some Trade Experts and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) operators have called for legislation and Presidential Executive Order to streamline MSMEs taxation.

They noted that harmonization of multiple taxation being faced by the MSMEs will expand their survival rate and capacity for African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The experts and MSMEs operators spoke on Monday at a webinar organized by the Policy Advocacy Centre (PAC) of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) to mark the 2021 World MSME Day.

World MSMEs Day is celebrated every June 27.

The ACCI organized the webinar with the theme “World MSMEs Day: Unveiling the National MSMEs Policy” as part of activities to commemorate the 2021 event.

Dr. Sijuwade Kayode, Vice President, Commerce, ACCI, said that a robust legislation and executive order were urgently needed to enforce harmonized taxation for MSMEs as provided in the new national MSMEs policy.

He noted that while legislation was being worked upon, the Federal Government could issue an executive order, enforcing implementation of existing incentives for MSMEs as captured in the 2020 Finance Act.

According to him, this will create a one-stop tax payment system for MSMEs.

Dr. Chijioke Ekechukwu, Chief Executive Officer, Bristol Investment Limited, affirmed that since MSMEs contributed over 50 percent of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), legislation harmonizing taxation for the sub-sector was needed.

The Economist called for a roundtable involving federal, state, and local governments including Abuja Municipal Area Council and Organized Private Sector to discuss new policy implementation to bring sanity to businesses.

He equally said that Lagos and Abuja were the two states with a high rate of multiple taxations, adding that it should be addressed urgently.

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Another speaker, Alhaji Bashir Maidugu, Special Adviser on Trade and Investment to the Borno Governor, noted that challenges of taxation had been killing many businesses and hindering their readiness for AfCFTA.

According to the adviser, if the National Assembly can come up with such legislation, it will permanently address issues bordering on multiple taxations in the country.

Dr. Dikko Radda, Director-General, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), in his presentation had described the new national policy as a product of extensive consultation with stakeholders.

Radda explained that the challenges facing the sector would be resolved with the implementation of the policy.

A cross-section of speakers, however, emphasized the need to create mechanisms for the enforcement of the policy, as many MSMEs were dying prematurely due to multiple and excessive taxation.

They noted that the proposed legislation and executive order would strengthen the Nigerian MSMEs and prepare them to take advantage of opportunities offered by the continental free trade regime. (NAN)

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