The Federal Ministry of Finance has denied allegation that the new exercise duty on alcohol and cigarettes was targeted at destroying local manufacturers of the items. A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance and signed by Mr Hassan Dodo, the Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Finance said that the purpose of introducing the new duty is to increase government’s revenue. The statement said “Contrary to claims that the rates are selectively imposed on local manufacturers, there is currently a 60 per cent duty rate imposed on imported alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
“This is part of measures by the government to encourage local production and protect local manufacturers. It should also be noted that beer and stout are currently under import prohibition to protect the industry from unfair competition from foreign brands. In addition, other locally excisable products such as non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, perfumes, corrugated papers or paper boards and cartons have no excise duties ”.
Dodo in the statement said that the approved excise duty rates followed all-encompassing engagements with key industry stakeholders by the Tariff Technical Committee (TTC), of which Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) is a member. Dodo also said that the Federal Government is committed to achieving its industrialisation agenda. He said that the government would continue to put in place fiscal policy measures to protect local manufacturers and stimulate the growth of the economy.
President Muhammadu Buhari in March approved the increment of excise duties on alcohol and tobacco. Under the new rates, excise duty for cigarette would be N20 per pack of 20 sticks in 2018, N40 per pack of 20 sticks in 2019 and N58 per pack of 20 sticks in 2020. Beer and stout will attract 0.30k per centilitre (cl) in 2018 and 0.35k per centlitre each in 2019 and 2020. Wines will attract N1.25k per cl in 2018 and N1.50k per cl each in 2019 and 2020. In addition, N1.50k per cl was approved for spirits in 2018, N1.75k per cl in 2019 and N2 per cl in 2020.