Labour fumes over FG’s plan to tax non-alcoholic drinks

Says excessive taxation killing food, beverage sector

Organised Labour in the Food and Beverage sector has raised the alarm over plans by the Federal Government to impose excise duty on non-alcoholic drinks, warning that such tax will cripple the sector.

FIRS

Under the aegis of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association, (FOBTOB), Labour decried excessive taxation of the industry, contending that should the government go ahead with the imposition of the excise duty, the sector could collapse.

President of FOBTOB, Jimoh Oyibo spoke at the Labour Writers Association of Nigeria, (LAWAN)’s monthly forum in Lagos

Oyibo argued that the justification by the National Assembly, the Customs, and the Finance Ministry that manufacturers of non-alcoholic drinks were making excessive profits was not enough to subject them to another tax burden that could cripple them.

He equally said the argument that there was a 30% excise duty on alcoholic drinks should not be a yardstick for the federal government to tax the non-alcoholic drinks, saying “if the government goes ahead to introduce exercise duty on soft drinks, the country will be in a total mess and outright collapse of the sector.

On backward integration, he insisted that while it was a good plan capable of stimulating economic development, especially in the manufacturing sector, he however said the plan might not work due to the high rate of insecurity in the country.

According to him, ”There is need for a national dialogue. The major concern being raised by the players in our industry is the fact that they have not often been engaged and even where such consultation exists, it is shallow without any depth. Consultation on issues of backward integration should be robust and all-encompassing”.

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