Some business experts on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to fast track the implementation of tax harmonisation policy to enhance growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) sector.
They told Newsverge in Lagos that harmonisation of tax policy would ameliorate negative economic challenges and expedite economic recovery from recession.
The Head of Research, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr Vincent Nwani, said that multiple taxes and levies imposed on the private sector had become a burden and stifled economic growth.
According to him, multiplicity of taxes at the federal, state and local government levels limits profits, compromises quality of products and has led to dearth of some businesses.
“In spite of the existence of the Taxes and Levies Approved List for Collection Act, states and local governments have simply ignored the Act in order to increase their internally-generated revenue.
“The current economic recession is increasing pressure on companies to cut costs and on tax authorities to aggressively enhance revenue.
“This has led to series of complaints from the business community; if the country wants to improve its Ease of Doing Business ranking, we must support business growth by addressing tax issues,” he said.
Mrs Olanrewaju Oniyitan, Managing Director, Wholistic Business Solution, urged government to spur SME growth through creation of a separate tax and regulatory framework.
According to the Business Development Service Provider (BDSP), the framework will boost productivity, generate jobs and improve wealth creating opportunities for inclusive growth.
Mrs Raliat Oyetunde, Managing Director, Prinsult Consulting, said multiplicity of tax was disincentive to the growth of economy presently grappling with poverty, unemployment and desirous of attracting investments to the economy.
According to her, harmonised tax policy will impact positively on reducing prices of goods and services in the country.
“An SME operator who pays taxes to the three tiers of government, runs his business via generators, pays staff salaries will find it as a herculean task making profit to keep his business afloat because of high overhead cost.
“Some of this burden will definitely be transferred to the consumer of the product or services leading to more discomfort for the masses.
“If left unchecked, hopes of growing the economy to meet its vision 2020 target of getting enlisted as one of the top 20 economies will be unattainable,” she said.