The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria is requesting that the Federal Government provide clarification regarding the higher excise duty on tobacco products and alcoholic beverages outlined in the 2023 Finance Act.

The President of MAN, Francis Meshioye, in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH, commended President Bola Tinubu for suspending the implementation of some new taxes contained in the Finance Act.

He said there was still some confusion regarding the position of the government on the excise duty on tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.

He said, “About the excise tax increase on alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. It is not clear whether this has been suspended. It was mentioned by Alake that the President was conscious of this, but he did clarify whether this would be suspended. Our prayer has been that this should be totally suspended.”

According to Meshioye, there was a road map on how the increase will come to play, and the manufacturers had the confidence of the previous administration that they will respect the road map as agreed upon.

He added, “But all of a sudden, we find that this is not the case, that the Finance Act introduced an increase. This is very astonishing to us. We plead that if this part of what is being suspended by this Executive Order, we want it to be very clear so that our members will not have any problems in compliance and that there would be no threats from any other government agencies, especially Customs.

“If otherwise, I want to use this medium to plead with the President to suspend it totally because the roadmap stipulates a gradual increase in excise duty. What I want the president to do is evaluate the impact of the increase already meted, which has been passed on to the consumers. How are they reacting to it? What does it mean to them? This is our plea to the President. He should engage the stakeholders. We are willing to dialogue with the administration and see how we can support the economy without jeopardising the interest of the manufacturers.”

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