Home Economy Actionaid hails FG’s exemption of small businesses, manufacturers, farmers from withholding tax 

Actionaid hails FG’s exemption of small businesses, manufacturers, farmers from withholding tax 

by Business News Report

ActionAid Nigeria, a non-profit organisation, AAN, has hailed the Federal Government over exemption of manufacturers, small businesses and farmers. The commendation was made in a statement signed by the Country Director, AAN, Andrew Mamedu, which the decision by the Tinubu-led administration was described as a move that acknowledges the strategic role local industries and Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs, play in developing the economy. Mamedu also pointed out that it is also imperative for government to expand the tax brackets for multinationals and big companies, as well as reduce tax holidays for them. He further demanded the government to revisit the tax policies that have allowed multinationals to exploit the nation’s resources while paying minimal taxes as the action fosters inequality.

He said “ActionAid Nigeria commends the government for exempting small businesses, manufacturers, and farmers from withholding tax, a move that acknowledges the critical role of local industries and SMEs in driving economic growth and development.  But, as ActionAid Nigeria acknowledges this as a step in the right direction, we also sound a clarion call on the looming hunger crisis and pervasive insecurity in Nigeria and hold the government accountable for its inaction.” He also asserted that interest rate hike by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, is yet to yield the desired results as far as inflationary trend continues to rise. “The continuous interest rate hike by the Central Bank of Nigeria, aimed at curbing inflation, has unfortunately not yielded the desired results. While the hikes were intended to reduce inflation, prices continue to soar, leaving many Nigerians struggling to make ends meet. Aliko Dangote, Chairman and CEO of the Dangote Group, warned that the interest rate hike will have devastating consequences for businesses, making it nearly impossible for them to survive. The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has echoed Dangote’s concerns, calling for policies that support local industries. This highlights the need for a comprehensive review of the tax regime to ensure it is fair, equitable, and supportive of local industries.

“ActionAid Nigeria believes that the focus on interest rates alone is misplaced and that the root cause of inflation lies in the production sector.  To truly tackle inflation, ActionAid Nigeria urges the government to prioritize production and address the obstacles facing small business owners and farmers, including insecurity and lack of access to credit.” In his call for action, he said, “ActionAid Nigeria also calls for grants and low-interest loans for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to be able to expand and thrive in this economy, as it is the biggest way to tackle poverty. They are the backbone of our economy and supporting them is crucial to addressing the hunger crisis and promoting economic growth.  “ActionAid Nigeria demands that the government takes immediate action to address the pervasive insecurity, including investing in community-led peace building initiatives and providing support to victims of violence.  Moreover, small business owners and farmers need access to credit to expand their operations and increase production.  We urge the government to implement policies that provide affordable credit to SMEs and support sustainable agriculture practices.”

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