Members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Kwara and Kogi states chapter, as well as owners of other business concerns protested at the Kwara State House of Assembly complex against the ‘Manufacturing Processing Levy Bill, 2017’ currently being considered by the assembly.
The protesters stormed the complex at about 10am on Friday before the commencement of a public hearing on the bill. They carried placards with inscriptions such as, ‘Companies are closing down in Kwara because of multiple taxes’, ‘We do not have jobs’, ‘Don’t kill industries in Kwara State’, ‘We stand against illegal taxes in Kwara’, ‘We say no to anti-industrial development’ and ‘Many states are looking for investors’.
The spokesperson for the branch of MAN, Mr. Bioku Rahman, told journalists that the members opposed the bill by the state government because manufacturing industries in the country were already distressed.
He stated that any additional burden on the manufacturers would lead to the collapse of most of the industries.
Rahman noted that if the industries were unable to break-even, they would lay off their workers and even stop further employment.
He explained that the state government would also suffer because there would be less Pay-As-You-Earn tax and that there would be a lot of migration of industries from Kwara to other states.
Rahman said manufacturers were already paying Company Income Tax, Education Tax, Petroleum Profit Tax, Value Added Tax, PAYE, Development Levy, land charges, Setback Tax, trade permit, business premises permit, signage levy, gaseous emission levy and tenement rate.
He added that they are also paying trade permit to local governments, NAFDAC levy, Standards Organisation of Nigeria levy, pension, fumigation tax, Federal Ministry of Mines and Powers levy, town planning development levy, Ministry of Environment and Forestry levy, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development levy, FRSC training levy, Industrial Training Fund levy, employees insurance levy/tax, Capital Gains Tax, parking permit, pre-occupation levy, debt security insurance levy and road taxes.
He said, “Already we have few industries in Kwara State. Over the past 10 years, more than 60 per cent of the existing companies are no longer existing. If you introduce more taxes via this bill, there will be migration to other states.
“We have found out that there is no state in Nigeria that is running this levy. It is an additional burden on industries in Kwara State and we want to oppose it.”