Rice processors in the country want the incoming administration to make tackling challenges affecting rice production in the country, a priority.
They made this known against the backdrop of the negative impact smuggling and other setbacks have had on the industry despite significant interventions by the authorities.
Several years ago , much of the rice eaten in the country was imported as production output was low.
All that has changed with various interventions by the authorities including the Anchor Borrowers programme, paddy aggregation scheme, and real sector support facility amongst others.
These have helped boost output and growth of locally produced rice.
But smuggling remains a source of concern for rice processors amid other challenges.
They now set an agenda for the incoming administration to include repositioning the customer for better smuggling surveillance alongside adopting more sophisticated technology.
They also seek better irrigation and cheaper access to credits.
The rice processors particularly want the authorities to put in place an agriculture flagship platform such as a grain risk fund, that would address the industry’s exigencies by way of single digit borrowing.
FG Must address Contradictions in Policies for Economic Growth – NECA
The Nigerian Employers Consultative Association has called for the streamlining of measures being considered to raise revenue, especially in the area of Tax Administration.
Director General of the Association, Adewale Oyerinde, disclosed this while speaking on the revenue crisis facing Nigeria and the advise from the International Monetary Fund to Nigeria to raise Revenue by widening the tax net/
Mr Oyerinde who was speaking on Business Nigeria with Tolulope Ogunjobi on TVC News said the private Sector has no issues with raising taxes but the broader Tax problem in Nigeria which needs to b put in proper perspective.
He said a balance needs to be struck on what will be taxed and avoid arbitrary and burdensome taxes for the private sector without taking cognisance of the larger Economic impact.
NECA according to Mr Oyerinde will continue to support taxes and Other measures that will aid Economic growth and development.
He however said Tax in itself should be a measure that will help in developing the Economy through the promotion of growth and consumption.
He also said Taxation should take into account luxury goods so as not to create negative dynamics for the organised private sector.
He said the impact of Taxation on the organised private sector can be gleaned from the report commissioned a few years ago by the World Bank through the PriceWaterHouseCoopers which shows that the average small business in Nigeria pays about 69 different taxes compared to other countries in the US like 11, South Africa, Malaysia and Others who pay less taxes.
He asked what is the premise upon which taxes will be increased, he added that if this is to reduce borrowing then the government should look more at instituting better Fiscal discipline.
Going Further, he said when a nation borrows and cannot pay the first thing to do is to stop borrowing by instituting very strict Fiscal discipline.
Mr Oyerinde said the move to increase taxes has also not taken into consideration of the various uncertainties that is affecting organised Businesses through contradictions in policies and Other decisions by government.
He listed Covid-19, the Russia-Ukraine War and the Cash Crunch as issues that have not been recovered from by businesses and the Nigerian Economy.
He urged the Federal Government to address the contradictions in the regulatory and legislative Environment that has ensured that bottlenecks are being created for companies who are expected to generate employment while at the same time, their is talk of the unacceptable level of unemployment in the Country.
He called for the dismantling of the walls that have ensured that the various schemes and initiatives of government aimed at improving the Economic situation.
He disclosed that there are several agencies o government that have engaged the association and the organised private sector in finding a solution to the various issues raised singling out the Federal Inland Revenue Service as a very good agency that is listening and taking steps to address such issues.
He said the Sessions will continue irrespective of the way Others have approached the issues.
He said NECA has had to write the President, the Vice President and the Attorney General of the Federation over several bills especially the National Human Rights Commission’s Bill which has an insertion that organised Businesses must contribute to fund the agency including 18 different bills that are awaiting final passage before the National Assembly.
According to Mr Oyerinde, aside the issue of ‘JAPA’ syndrome, their is a developing trend of Corporate ‘Japa’ which has seen more and more companies relocating from Nigeria to Other countries because the business environment are more welcoming and has allowed them to thrive.
He said if this is not addressed in good time, it will complicate the current Economic challenges facing the nation with a declining productive Sector.