Frank Jacobs, President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria on Wednesday called on the federal government to reverse the proposed hike in the excise duty on alcohol and tobacco products.
He said if the federal government goes ahead to implement the proposal, the firms producing the products will shut down and increase job losses.
Jacobs, made the call in Lagos while speaking to newsmen on the association’s position on the African Continental Free Trade agreement.
Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance, had stated that President Muhammadu Buhari had granted a grace period of 90 days to manufacturers of the affected products before the new duty regime would go into effect.
She said the new excise duty rates would be spread over a three-year period from 2018 to 2020 in order to moderate the impact on the prices of the products.
The minister explained that the new tariff regime came about following an all-inclusive meeting between the Tariff Technical Committee of the Federal Ministry of Finance and key industry stakeholders.
Jacobs, however, said that the association was still engaging the government on the issue.
“During the last presidential engagement forum, I talked about the impact of this excise duty increase on the manufacturing sector.
“I made it clear that if they go ahead and implement that policy, within the three years when that policy will be in full force, many of the companies that are involved in those product must close shops.”