The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday requested the federal government (FG) suspends all excise tariffs until all parties involved are appropriately and adequately consulted and engaged for serious discussion.
The Senate made the request following report presented by Senator Umaru Kurfi of the Committee on Finance on the Urgent Need to Review the Excise Tariff Increment in order to save Local Distillers of Beverages from Looming Extinction.
The Senate stressed that the serious discussion with all parties involved would give avenue for a consensus rate and implementation approach.
The Senate resolved that an increment of not more than 50% at maximum should be adopted as it has become necessary for the FG to increase the tariff rate in order to boost revenue generation as the rate will provide more leniency to the affected manufacturers and give more hope for the survival of the indigenous companies.
The Senate noted that there was a need to increase the import duties of foreign alcoholic beverages and tobacco products in order to give local indigenous companies a more competitive edge as this will provide for less price differentiation.
The upper legislative chamber urged the FG to sensitize and carry along the producers and consumers of the alcoholic and tobacco products to understand the need for the increase and the disadvantages adding to the economic fortunes of the country.
Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu thanked the Committee for the effort they put in bringing together the stakeholders in the industry and coming up with the recommendations.
“I believe that we need to continue to sustain this idea of consultation with stakeholders before decisions are taken in matters that affect them.
“It is in the interest of our country that we make further consultations in matters that affect the lives of our people so that proper decisions will be taken for matters that affect the lives of ordinary people.
“With this report, I believe that the matter is settled and that the government will suspend the implementation of the new rate to enable proper consultation to take place,” he said.