Vice President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Lagos Zone, Chief John Aluya, has decried what he described as double taxation imposed on manufacturing companies by Lagos State Government.
Aluya criticised the act during the 7th Lagos Corporate Assembly, tagged: ”Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (BOS) Meets Business”, organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives.
He accused the Lagos State Government of double taxation and unfriendly business actions.
The vice president said that the extant law of the land-use charge confirmed a consolidation of all land-based laws and charges, but most member companies and even the association were being made to pay both land use charge and ground rent.
”This is double taxation. We urge your administration to try as much as possible to eliminate double taxation,” he said.
Aluya also said that the state government was to build a central sewage system in which effluents from manufacturing companies would be channeled and treated and to which effluent treatment charges were to be paid.
”Today, the central sewage has not been built by the government, but we are being made to individually construct our effluent treatment plants and still pay the treatment charges to the state government without any value derived from the payment,” he said.
The vice president said that the harmonised inspection as approved earlier by the state government had really not been implemented.
He, therefore, implored the state government to look into the issues, disclosing that at the end of first half of 2020, the association recorded a sharp decline in capacity utilisation to 49 percent from 68.5 percent in the corresponding half of 2019.
Aluya said that the Apapa Industrial zone in the first half of 2020 also witnessed a sharp decline in capacity utilisation to 40.5 percent from 69.5 percent in the corresponding half of 2019.
He said that the capacity utilisation for both Ikeja and Apapa Industrial zones in the second half of 2020 stood at 59 percent and 64.2 percent, respectively, a decline from 70.8 percent and 69.1 percent recorded for the second half of 2019, respectively.
”The impoundment of trucks by the Lagos State committee on abandoned vehicles is highly disturbing.
”Trucks parked in front of the manufacturing facilities awaiting offloading their imported raw materials are being impounded as early as 6 a.m. and the companies are being subjected to pay fines for offenses they do not understand,” Aluya said.
The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries (LCCI), Mrs Toki Mabogunje, said that the movement of goods and persons was still quite challenging and had contributed to the rate of inflation in the state.
Mabogunje said that with its mega-city status, the movement of goods and persons was a critical factor in determining the cost of living in Lagos State.
”The Chamber notes that despite the interventions and steps taken by the governments (Federal and Lagos State), the burdensome process of moving goods from the ports and the bottlenecks with the clearing of cargoes constitute a significant deadweight to the process.
”We advocate that the state government, through collaborations with the Federal Government, should take necessary actions to enable the task forces on duty to discharge their critical roles.
”This is for the proper management of the roads leading to the ports and the monitoring of government officials on the roads to curb the persistent traffic situation at the Lagos ports,” she said.
The LCCI president urged the government to ensure stability and consistency in the policy environment, which was critical to boosting investors’ confidence.
Responding to the issues raised by the corporate players, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, promised that the state would address the issues raised and some of them were already being worked on.
On insecurity, Sanwo-Olu said that a lot of the security issues emanating from the abandoned property, hence, the owners of the property should possess them for use or the state government would invoke the land use power.
The governor said that with the power, the property would either be pulled down or the owner will lose the property to the state government. nan.