Governor lbikunle Amosun of Ogun on Friday urged manufacturers to pay their taxes regularly to facilitate rapid development of the state.
Amosun, represented by Mr Bimbo Ashiru, Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, made the plea at the 32nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Ota, Ogun State.
The AGM had the theme “Developing a Workable Work Plan for Environmental Sustainability – Cost Implication, Benefits and Drawbacks.’’
“We can all imagine what the state will look like in terms of infrastructural development if all companies in Ogun pay their taxes,’’ he said.
“There is the need for manufacturers to consistently remit their taxes so that government can provide enabling environment like good roads and other amenities in the state. The infrastructure will encourage businesses to thrive,’’ he said.
Amosun promised that all the roads being rehabilitated would be completed before the end of his administration. He commended the manufacturers for their efforts toward industrialisation of the state.
“Industrialisation plays a critical role in national development and in eradicating unemployment and poverty in the country.
“There is a need for manufacturers to regularly come to the association’s quarterly meetings because that is the only channel through which your complaints can get to the government.’’
He reiterated that his administration was committed to supporting MAN and new investors to move the state forward.
Mr Wale Adegbite, the MAN Chairman, Ogun Chapter, said that there was an urgent need to strengthen the real sector by removing all obstacles restraining its growth and competitiveness.
Adegbite identified some impediments that had marred economic activities in the sector to include multiple taxation, dearth of foreign exchange for manufacturers, and epileptic power supply.
He listed other as the relatively high lending rates by banks, non availability of local inputs and bad roads.
“The scarcity and high cost of sourcing for forex as well as higher interest rate by the nation’s financial institutions made it difficult for manufacturers to bring in their raw materials.
“This has resulted in decline in production and profit margins, huge layoffs, salary reduction and factory closure,” the MAN chairman said.
Adegbite said that the harsh economic environment characterised by all these factors was discouraging further investment and constituted impediments to the sector’s competitiveness.
“We urge the Federal Government to make forex available for manufacturers, grant tax incentives and rebates to ease the economic burden and to attract further investments,” he said.
The MAN chairman said that the ability of the Federal Government to tackle those challenges would enable the sector to be optimally productive.
He said that government’s intervention in these areas would enable the sector to play its expected role of employment generation, capital mobilisation and wealth creation, among others.