FG to review excise duty rate on alcoholic beverages as firms struggle amid drop in profits

The Federal Government has said it is reviewing excise duty rates on wines and spirits.

The review is coming nine months after President Muhammadu Buhari approved incremental tariff increase on alcohol and tobacco products.

According to a Tuesday report in Bloomberg, Paul Abechi, a spokesman for Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed, said in emailed response to questions, without giving a time frame.

“Following continued consultation by the government, it has been decided and approved that the excise duties on wines and spirit should be reviewed,” Abechi said.

“The process has been set in motion through the relevant departments and inter-ministerial committees and it will soon resolve the matter in a mutually benefiting way.”

“The companies don’t need additional tax at a time the economy is coming out of recession and inflation is still high,” David Adonri, chief executive of Lagos-based Highcap Securities said in a telephone interview. “A downward adjustment or abolition of the tax is needed to enable them to remain in business and create jobs.”

President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration introduced a phased 17% increase in duties on alcoholic beverages to boost non-oil earnings amid declining income from the oil industry. Budget and Planning Minister Udo Udoma said revenue was about 55% of expected earnings last year.

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