•Seeks tax holidays


By Chukwuma Umeorah

The President of Food, Beverages, and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB), Jimoh Oyibo, has lamented the impact of multiple taxation on companies and businesses within Nigeria’s food sector.

Oyibo who spoke to Daily Sun on Monday urged the federal government to create tax holidays or relief as a critical measure to alleviate the financial strain burdening these businesses. He warned that unless urgent action is taken by the government to alleviate the burdensome tax regime and address the sector’s challenges, numerous companies face the imminent threat of closure or relocation.

“Companies in Nigeria’s food sector are struggling to survive under the weight of multiple taxation. Government policies are not favorable, and if this trend persists, many companies will face imminent closure or opt to exit the country.

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“We appeal to government to provide immediate  tax holidays, even if it is for a year or so. These companies are already struggling with the harsh business environment which have been exacerbated by escalating cost of production, inflation, high exchange rates, the unavailability of raw materials and unfavourable government policies,” he added.

Oyibo disclosed that the gravity of the situation was reflected in the actions already taken by some companies within the sector which have initiated redundancy procedures and commenced staff retrenchment as a desperate measure to mitigate financial losses and navigate the hostile business environment. “These actions not only undermine job security but also erode confidence in the sustainability of our industry.”

Citing the critical importance of the food sector to Nigeria’s development, he noted that the many challenges bedevilling the sector was the reason for the food inflation being the highest contributory factor to the Nigeria’s headline inflation which currently stands at 31.70 per cent, the highest in 28 years.

To address this, he stressed the need to improve supply side of food by urging  government to address the issue of insecurity which has kept farmers away from their farms, thus declining local production of food.

“In addition to that, the government must reassess its fiscal policies to ensure they promote rather than hinder the growth of the food sector.” This is even as noted that collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors were crucial to fostering an environment conducive to business prosperity.