Customs Kick Against Duty Waivers For Coca-Cola, 7up, Others - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Thursday, August 20, 2020

Customs Kick Against Duty Waivers For Coca-Cola, 7up, Others

ABUJA - The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has urged the Federal Government to begin collection of excise duty from carbonated drinks’ producers like Coca-Cola, 7up and others.

The NCS also urged the Federal Government to terminate the tax waivers regime granted local companies producing soft drinks.

The Comptroller-General of the NCS Colonel Hameed Ali (rtd) stated this at the Stakeholders’ Interactive Session on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) by the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning.

Ali wondered why companies like Coca Cola, Pepsi cola and other non-alcoholic beverage firms were not paying taxes when they do in other countries where they operate.

He noted the defunct Interim National Government of Ernest Shonekan, granted the waivers to the carbonated drinks manufacturers in 1993 to encourage local firms.

He, however, said the policy should no longer be sustained in view of the current reality occasioned by the nation’s dwindling revenues.

Ali said: “We have been pushing for the expansion of our own excise collection. During the Shonekan regime, excise was stopped for carbonated drinks manufacturers like Coca-Cola.

“The only one approved for us are tobacco alcoholic beverages. The understanding then was that tobacco and alcoholic beverages affect the health of citizens and should therefore be taxed.

“But we know that carbonated drinks are also injurious to the health of the people due to the high sugar content.

“Therefore if tobacco and alcoholic beverages companies are paying tax, the carbonated drink manufacturers should also pay.

“The collection on import will reduce because of the trade agreement we have signed. So, if we don’t expand our excise, the collection from Customs will drop.”

He called on the Federal Government to extend its excise tax net to include carbonated drinks.

He said the action would boost revenue generation since tariff collection on import would drop in 2021 and beyond due to trade agreement between Nigeria and neighbouring countries

©The Nation 

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