Friday, 17 July 2015

EMPLOYERS ADVISES FG TO CEASE GRANTING IMPORT WAIVERS

Tectono gathered that employers under the aegis of Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) have called on the Federal Government to stop granting waivers and concessions to selected individuals or groups to import at concessionary rate, lamenting that such waivers are detrimental to other players in the economy.

During the body’s 58th Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Lagos, the President of NECA, Mr. Larry Ettah, argued that failure of trade policies to recognise the importance of tariff had undermined industrial activities in Nigeria. According to him, tariff policy should be decided on a sector by sector basis with adequate considerations for the imperatives of sector strategies.

He said: “It is important to recognise that tariffs are instruments of industrial policy and as such have implications for employment, investment, technology and productivity growth.”

Mr. Ettah insisted that planed review of waivers should pass through the Tariff Review Committee under the Federal Ministry of Finance. He noted that the rampant cases of duplication of taxes and levies across the country had added to the cost of doing business.
He called the Joint Tax Board to ensure the harmonization of the tax structure to eliminate cases of double taxation.

The Deputy President of Wabba Ayuba led faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Peters Adeyemi, in his goodwill message , said congress must ensure that public policies were inclusive and people driven. He said that no country would develop by importing its raw materials except by building industries. 

In Mr. Adeyemi’s own words: “We are hopeful that further close collaboration between NLC and NECA as social partners could help the new government under President Mohammadu Buhari to rethink governance and wasteful spending. A system where an employer will have to pay so high to run a generator to produce encourages corrupt practices as he will pass cost of production to the worker through low wages, unfair labour practices and also to the consumer with unbearable prices for the products, which eventually lead people into spending more than they earn and therefore either go borrowing and be enmeshed in unending debt crisis or continuously steal to survive.

“Our country is in this state because we have all allowed impunity for too long. Public resources were brazenly taken by leaders and their cronies entrusted with the management of our collective interests in manners that gives all of us out as accomplices as we watched helplessly while the reign of mass looting persists. Public enterprises were given out under the guise of being unprofitable, inefficient, unmanageable, and wasteful or that government must not be involved in business. These are mere excuses for a policy imposed on our country to stop funding public interests with public money. Our taxes are meant to provide us good services, qualitative lives and infrastructures. They are not contributions for individuals. Government must reverse some of the sales of public enterprises, including electricity which despite its privatization has sunk further in comatose.”

In the same vein, the Director of Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Mr. Emmanuel Achibong, promised to partner with NECA to leverage the problem of Nigerian workers. He said it was sad that workers are owed months of unpaid salaries in spite of the economic hardship and urged employers of labour to ensure that workers are well treated.