By Providence Obuh
MICRO entrepreneurs in the country have lamented continuous rise in the cost of inputs such as production materials and chemicals.
President, Association of Micro Entrepreneurs of Nigeria, AMEN, Prince Saviour Iche, who spoke on behalf of the micro entrepreneurs, said that the situation is getting worse by the day.
He said that the higher the prices of chemicals the higher the VAT they have to pay.
His words, “The situation is still the same, companies have continued to increase the cost of chemicals and plastic every day.
The most painful aspect of it is that as the price increases, the VAT increases. In ten days, I have paid N200, 000 as VAT from where I usually purchase chemicals for local production. How much am I going to benefit if only VAT has taken such an amount. I wonder if these Indians are paying those VAT to government.
“VAT is still five percent but as the companies increase their price, the more VAT we pay. If the prices of chemicals reduce, the VAT will reduce.
“What we are asking the government is to give the importers of raw chemicals the dollar, at reduced rate so that they will bring raw chemicals for the local producers. Many producers have close down their companies and if nothing is done soon there will be problem as companies are closing and workers are being push to the labour market,” Iche said.
On the other hand, President, National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB) Mr. Valentine Whensu, said that the future of Nigeria is dependent on the people at the bottom of the pyramid popularly known as grassroot.
He said that the number of micro small and medium enterprises in the country is about 30 million, from the figure made available by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistic in 2015, compared to 17.9 million reported in 2012.