The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME), has called for a downward review of government taxes to check the rising cost of goods and services in the country.
Dr Abdulrasheed Yerima, the National President of NASME made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday, in Abuja.
Yerima also emphasised the need for the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and other regulatory agencies to reduce tariff and taxes imposed on imported raw materials.
He said that tax reduction was essential in checking the rising cost of goods and services from further affecting Nigerians economically.
Nigerians have continued to groan over the rising cost of goods and services with its attendant effect on their purchasing powers.
According to Yerima, customs should reduce the tariff on manufacturing equipment powered by gas especially.
“This will enable MSMEs to migrate from the use of diesel to gas in powering their generators and their machines, thereby, addressing the challenges of power and transportation,’’ he said.
Yerima also spoke on the need for government to engage with relevant stakeholders to review charges by regulatory bodies, adding that instead of reducing charges, regulatory bodies are increasing them.
According to him, “Nigeria and the rest of the world have not really recovered from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, more so, as the war in Ukraine is affecting major players in the oil and gas industry, necessitating the need to embrace renewable energy and other alternatives to boost production at a reduced cost”.
“The impacts of COVID-19 and the war in Ukarine have brought us to where we are today but we believe there would be alternatives.
“I can assure you that opportunities will emerge, it is not going to continue like this,’’ Yerima said.
For his part, Chief Pius Nnamani, the National Secretary, Amalgamated Commercial Tricycle and Motorcycle Owners Repairs and Riders Association of Nigeria (ACTMORRAN), has urged the Federal Government to rescind any plan to ban commercial motorcycle operations.
Nnamani said that banning the operations of motorcycle popularly called “Okada’’ would result to unemployment and increase hardship among operators and Nigerians.
“As a law abiding association, we have no option than to ask why they are planning to ban it. “As far as we are concerned, we are law abiding and we have registered “okada’’ riders under ACTMORRAN and which we register under NISAS which is Federal Government’s security alert platform,’’ he said.