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Facilitate completion of Industrial Park in Kwara, MAN President tells Gov. AbdulRazaq



Francis Meshioye

The National President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, (MAN) Otunba Francis Meshioye, on Tuesday urged Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State to facilitate the completion of the construction of the ongoing industrial park in the state adding that members of the association should be enlisted in the policy formulation and implementation process.

Otunba Meshioye spoke at the 9th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Kwara/Kogi branch held at the group’s secretariat in Ilorin, the state capital.

He also commended the Governor for the recognition he always accord the group whenever the Branch had cause to call on him stressing that the could be achieved through the appointment of MAN representatives on State Government Boards and project Implementation Committees.

Represented by the Chairman Basic Metal, Iron and Steel Products sector of MAN, Dr. Kamoru Yusuf, the association’s helmsman also called on the government of Kogi State to encourage the growth of manufacturing by improving the security of the state, especially the Ajaokuta road axis.

He further assured that the National leadership will continue to give priority to issues affecting the manufacturing sector.

“We shall intensify efforts at engaging with Governments at all levels and the legislature in order to improve the operating environment for manufacturing and create more jobs for our teeming youths”, he added.

Declaring the event open, the Governor AbdulRazaq noted that manufacturing sector is critical to economic growth and development adding that, “The government and stakeholders must reposition the sector by paying adequate attention to encourage research, innovation and improve the quality of locally produced goods”.

The Governor who was represented by his deputy, Mr Kayode Alabi said: “The manufacturing sector has the potential to create a large number of sustainable jobs. Given the large number of entrants into the workforce”.

He noted that all their observations would be looked into, and assured the association of continuous support of the present administration.

In his address, the Chairman of the Kwara/Kogi branch Pharmacist Rahaman Jimoh Bioku FPSN, tasked both Federal and State governments to harmonise the taxation system which often causes conflicts between its members and agencies of the governments.

Unveiling the theme of the meeting, “Nigerian Tax Albatross: Solutions and Reforms” the branch Chairman, Pharmacist Rahaman Jimoh Bioku, FPSN, said the theme was specifically chosen to conduct a long overdue assessment of the disharmony, the disarray, the controversies, the confusion and the increasing conflicts which have unfortunately characterized the public tax regime in Nigeria.

“These conflicts have set a number of Manufacturing Companies up against the Government because we have had to confront several maladies in the tax space such as multiple and double taxation, illegal taxation, over-taxation, and all sorts of irregularities therein.

“For us as an Association of registered, licensed, and duly certified manufacturers in Nigeria, we strongly believe that a platform such as this AGM can afford us some opportunity to commence and continue sincere deliberations on these issues.

“We are very hopeful that from the discussions, a strategic and proactive action from Government and Stakeholders in the Industry can be marshalled to ensure that all these anomalies are rectified so that things will be done right in the Nigerian tax space.

“We also want to use this opportunity to call on the Kwara state government to accelerate the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) on landed property once the criteria have been met by the owner because this is also affecting our members who want to use such properties to access a loan in financial agencies,” Bioku said.

Addressing the theme of the meeting, the Guest Speaker, Mr. Omotunde Lanre, member of staff, Federal Inland Revenue Services, took participants through the intricacies of tax administration and urged them to be updated on the activities of the FIRS.

“There has been innovation in tax administration. I want to advise the taxpayers to be abreast themselves of these innovations. Over the years, the government has been enacting laws to create an enabling business environment in line with global best practices and the ease of doing business.

“We want to admonish all our taxpayers to be conversant with some of these innovations. They would find out that it’s seamless to pay tax.

“Moreover, the present administration of President Bola Tinubu, recently inaugurated a physical policy and tax reform committee, let’s not preempt the outcome but I want to assure us that the outcome of that committee will be highly encouraging and impacting and there will be robust tax administration that will be beneficial to all,” he said.

The participant however called on the management of the Federal Inland Revenue Service to increase sensitization and improve their channel of information dissemination on tax administration said the awareness is very low.

In his goodwill message, the Executive Director of Dele Group Mr Damilola Shittu called on the Government to stop all illegal and controversial Taxes and Levies should be dropped, all multiple Taxes should be harmonised at Federal, State and Local levels and government should work on electricity.

Shittu said, “A Gas-Powered Energy Distribution Plant supplying power exclusively to Industries is needed in Kwara State. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should give directives to DMBs (Commercial Banks) to reduce interest rates on Industrial Loans”.

He also appealed to the CBN as a matter of public emergency, widening the window of Foreign Exchange (FX) to Local Industries.

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