Coronavirus: Manufacturers seek waivers on import duties, seamless access to supplies

Manufacturers under the aegis of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has called on the Federal Government to assist and support their businesses during this Coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement released by the association and signed by its President, Mansur Ahmed, the manufacturers asked for waivers on import duties as they demanded that the government should ensure reasonable access to industrial supplies and inputs such as gas, electricity, fuel and other essential infrastructure.

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The group urged the government to ensure seamless means or access to supplies so that their operations would continue without difficulty, especially when it comes to essential commodities such as pharmaceuticals and consumables, among others.

In addition to the above-listed requests, the manufacturers demanded that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should extend the supply of Forex to the manufacturing sector at pre-COVID-19 rates.

“In the case of an eventual lockdown, the government should consider the introduction of fiscal measures such as waivers on import duties on active pharmaceutical ingredients and other essential products.

“It should extend tax holiday to companies on corporate tax, waive the Value Added Tax and reduce the burden of personal income tax as a way of increasing the disposable income of an average Nigerian worker,” the statement read in part.

Stating further, MAN added that the government should ensure all regulatory agencies such as Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian Ports Authority, Standards Organisation of Nigeria and the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration & Control (NAFDAC) treat all requests from manufacturers with speed and efficiency as well as the sensitivity the situation requires.

On the government’s efforts at containing the coronavirus pandemic, the manufacturers commended the government but pointed out that it should ensure its agencies did not act contrary to its directive so that the essential manufacturing sector would continue to operate.

According to them, the delivery or logistics arm should be exempted from the list of the manufacturers who were told not to operate, so that consumers would get to have their manufactured items.

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