Coalition of NGO Business Groups seek FGs reversal of new excise duty on alcohol, tobacco

The Federal Government has been urged to reconsider its decision to raise excise duty on locally produced alcohol and tobacco as the new policy risks threatening the over N420bn in investments so far made in the wine and spirits industry.

The call was made by a coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) made up of the Business Renaissance Group and Sustained Development Collective while speaking with journalists in Abuja.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government on March 11 approved an amendment to the excise tariff rates for alcoholic beverages and tobacco products which is expected to go into effect on June 4, 2018.

The President of BRG, Mr. Omife Omife, said that with the new tariff regime, firms in the sector faced high risk of shutdown, especially in the low price segment, which accounts for 78.65% of the volume of the spirits and wines segment.

Explaining further, he said that the new policy would penalise the average Nigerian as they would no longer be able to afford the new prices that include the excise tax. For instance, he said that while the current excise duty at 20% for spirits amounted to N31 per litre, the new rate as announced by the Minister of Finance would amount to N200 per litre for spirits and N150 per litre for wines.

This, he noted, was over 500% increase.

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