The president of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Adetokumbo Kayode has called on the Federal Government to fufil it’s duty and develop clear and distinct policies for the development and growth of Small and Medium Enterprise SMEs in Nigeria.
Kayode noted that a clear policy will address the issues of funding, fiscal policy, taxation and incentives, he added that without a clear policy, efforts to develop SMEs in Nigeria will be lost.
He made this call at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Abuja International Trade Fair in Thursday.
The president when stressing the importance of SMEs in employment generation and economic development lamented that it is faced with the problem of multiple taxation as well as the issue of taxation before profit by government.
He said, “The most serious and debilitating is the issue of uncoordinated and disjointed multiple taxation in SMEs which manifests in firm of corporate tax, stamp duties, property tax, tenement rate,infrastructure charges, water rates, to mention a few.
“It is to day the least, shocking that government, at every level continue to take up to 10-15% of part of loans granted to SMEs in the name if consent fees, stamp duties, title registration fees, filling fees at the CAC while banks take 10% or mire through charges.
“It does not make any sense to continue to tax busineses before profit, tax should be in profit, motion busines, and definitely not before business is done.
“All these have to stop, it has continued to hurt and stall the growth of SMEs and their ptofitability”.
Kayode also lamented that the funding mechanism for SMEs has remained an issue . ” The federal government has made substantial funds available for SMEs . But how are these funds are disbursed mainly through commercial banks which are not programmed to do long term funding, capital investment. So why does development funds continue to pass through the commercial banks, where the essence and aim of government is frustrated and thwarted”
He however urged the FG to consider and agree to special funding vehicles for SMEs through Organized Private Sector OPS which in his view is a better and functional alternative than using commercial banks.
The president further noted that the 2018 trade fair witnessed an exponential increase of 75 % in the number of exhibitors compared to 2017.
He said the trade fair with the theme “Enhancing SMEs in Agribusiness Through Innovative Technology” will be a platform to boost economic development as well s build international business partnerships.
He also informed that the chamber has applied to the FCT minister for land to establish an agric park as a model for all agricultural entrepreneurs to copy and replicate.
The minister, FCT in his remarks commended the chamber for the fair and promise to give his full support.