By Victor Ahiuma-Young
LAGOS—ORGANISED Private Sector, OPS, has rejected the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Bill 2016, sent to President Muhammadu Buhari by National Assembly for assent, urging the president to withhold assent.
The Bill seeks for the development and promotion of fair, efficient and competitive markets in Nigeria, facilitate access to safe products by all citizens and protect the rights for all consumers in Nigeria.
OPS speaking through the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, accused the National Assembly of surreptitiously inserting 0.5% tax on companies to fund the establishment of a planned Commission/Agency that will undertake responsibilities under the law.
NECA contended that the issue of 0.5% tax on private companies was neither in the draft bill nor discussed during the public hearing on the bill, describing the development as a fraud.
In a statement NECA’s Director-General, Mr. Segun Oshinowo, OPS insisted that “while the Private sector welcomed and, in fact, actively supported the introduction of a dispensation where an Institution will exist to promote fair, efficient and competitive markets in the Nigerian economy, at no time, during the public hearing on the Bill, did we discuss the imposition of 0.5% profit after tax on all companies operating in Nigeria, as a source of funding the Commission. This provision was not contained in the draft bill that was exposed to the public.
“So, what could have been the source of this obnoxious provision that seeks to further drain life out of a struggling and comatose private sector that is still laboring under the unbearable weight of multiple and overlapping taxes and levies? This surreptitious insertion is a fraudulent act, which we seriously frown at.”