Okwe Obi and Walter Ukaegbu, Abuja

President of Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, has lamented that growth of Small, Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) is currently being threatened by high cost of doing business in Nigeria.

Kayode noted that it was even more worrisome now that government agencies wrongly impose tax on companies before profit.

“It is more shocking that the governments at every level continue to take up to 10-15 percent of loans granted to SMEs in the name of consent fees, stamp duties, tithes, registration fees, filling fees at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) while the banks also collect another 10 percent or more through administrative charges and document cost” He said.

Kayode, who disclosed this in a chat with journalists yesterday at the ongoing 13th Abuja trade fair holding in Abuja, said all these have to stop adding “I will use this opportunity to call on the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) to stop over-charging poor Nigerian writing their test, all they need to do is to refund their so-called profit to the poor parents of those students instead of paying the money to the government, and reduce its fees because JAMB is a regulatory body, it’s not supposed to make profit”

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Also reacting to the issues, the National President, National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Iyalode Alaba Lawson, said that time has come for government to move away from oil, embrace agriculture and empower the SMEs to take the lead.

Meanwhile some economic experts under the auspices of Coalition of Civil Society Groups (CCSG), have implored the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sustain recent drop in inflation rate, which, according to them, was a result of the increase in classifications of individual consumptions.

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CCSG President, Bassey Etuk, who stated this at the 4th conference of All Nigeria Civil Society Economic in Abuja, commended management of the apex bank for its achievement.

Etuk also challenged the Federal Government to improve fiscal spending to ensure more stability of the economy.

According to him, “these economic policies introduced by CBN have given great impetus to the country as our people are feeling relieved. We also wish to encourage the Federal Government through CBN to deepen the new economic growth model that will help sustainability of the new economic policies that will encourage participation by relevant stakeholders.

“And sustenance of the improved economic indices, rising investment in agriculture and infrastructure will sustain the country as we are out of recession.

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“This we observed was as a result of forex window introduced by CBN, which now produces higher turnover that has improved the confidence of investors,” it stated.

Also speaking, a committee member, Yemi Akanni, explained that the conference recommended that the Federal Government should sustain the increase of the country’s external reserves, adding that the growth recorded in raw materials, solid materials and capital importation should be sustained to ensure the economic growth continues.