General Manager, Ornua Dairy Products Nigeria Ltd., Olatunde Afolabi, has applauded the Federal Government for exempting dairy products from the Value Added Tax (VAT).
This was even as he pleaded with the government to fix the infrastructure at the port to enhance businesses.
In a chat with the media in Lagos, Afolabi, whose company launched a new milk product called Kerrygold Avantage, said the exemption will make dairy products affordable.
“VAT increase generally is quite challenging. What government is trying to do is to increase the base of taxpayers and increase its revenue to meet up with the gap we have in financing the budget. The essence of the increase is to get revenue for government. It could cause inflation, prices are likely to go up for the common man. It may mean paying more for the same thing.
“For items exempted, it is a positive one, in that the five per cent or the 7.5 per cent no more hold for us, as such, cost of production is brought down, which will automatically affect sales positively. Other products exempted from VAT are bread, cereal, fish, flour, roots, meat and poultry products, salt, natural water and table water.”
Afolabi added that other major challenges facingbusinesses are bad roads, scanners, and congestions at the port.
He said the port’s facilities are inadequate for the level of importation the company makes, and pleaded with the Federal Government to optimise the infrastructure at the port.
“The port is congested. it needs to be decongested. Scanners are not enough. We should have multiple scanners so that when containers are brought in, they can be easily scanned without necessarily opening and do manual checks on all the consignments.
“With a global scanner that can scan the containers, one is free. It will reduce the time between the arrival of the consignment and the clearing from the port.”
Also, he said the roads to the ports were bad. Trucks fall into ditches, which increase the cost of bringing consignments from and to the port.