NACCIMA seeks review of N50 stamp duty

By The Citizen

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has called on the Federal Government to review the recently introduced N50 stamp duty.

The association said the introduction of charges on all banking transfers has become a cause for concern among private sector operators, as it has added to their overhead cost in spite of different challenges they faced.

NACCIMA President, Chief Bassey E.O. Edem, argued that though the charge is constitutional and understandable in this period that government is making efforts to shore up its revenue, government should mitigate the effects of the charge by increasing its domestic spending.

Chief Edem, who spoke with The Nation in Lagos, on the prevailing economic situation in the country, stated that several policies introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stimulate the economy fall below the expectations of the business community.

He said: 'While we appreciate the review of the foreign exchange policies by the CBN to allow for behind-the-counter forex transaction, it is however, important to note that the margin between the official rate and parallel market is too wide to support international trade considering the long list of prohibited items.

'Also, having put in place measures to eliminate round tripping, it is now expedient for the apex bank to review the list of prohibited items to allow importers of raw materials that are not readily available in the country to have access to foreign exchange thereby preventing further collapse due to high cost of production.'

Edem called on CBN to develop a strategy that would encourage manufacturing industries that have the capacity to manufacture exportable products and raw materials, so as to enhance the nation's foreign exchange earnings and further reduce the dependence on crude oil earnings.

On interest rate, the NACCIMA chief stressed that the interest rate, which hovers between 17 per cent and 28 per cent is a major challenge to the business community, in spite of the reduction of Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 13 per cent to 11 per cent.

According to him, this has also reflected in the credit to the private sector, which currently stands at N18.719 trillion, translating to only five per cent as against the benchmark of 25 per cent. The Nation