Nigerians will lose jobs over FG’s excise duty on carbonated drinks — NUFBTE

Posted by News Express | 21 December 2021 | 364 times

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•President of NUFBTE, Lateef Idowu Oyelekan


Organised Labour under the aegis of the National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), has raised the alarm that millions of Nigerians will lose jobs if the Federal Government should go ahead with the proposed Excise Duty on carbonated drinks. 

The union also warned that this would further exacerbate the sensitive insecurity problem the nation has been contending with for some years now. 

Lateef Idowu Oyelekan, President of NUFBTE, expressed that it would be beneficial for government to have a rethink as the companies producing the products are one of the prominent mainstay of the nation’s economy in spite of the present challenges. 

“The soft drinks companies and breweries are the ones providing jobs for Nigerians and with their planned expansions, which means more jobs for Nigerians. 

“Seven Up have over 10 locations in the country and have told us of their expansion plan in their production lines at each plant, same for Nigeria Bottling Company and others”, he said. 

Oyelekan said Nigeria government should rather be seen creating conducive environment for these companies to create more jobs for the citizens rather than overburden them with taxes. 

He reasoned that the companies provide both direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians, from permanent and casual employees, suppliers, distributors to those selling the products in retail shops and all these run into several millions. 

He said: “The disadvantage of this is that it would increase the cost of production from the companies and this will be passed on to the consumers. It will invariably make the cost of these products go up and with the present inflation, it means that many Nigerians will not be able to afford it. 

“Should that happen, the company would have no choice than to lay off workers, some may have to reduce production line instead of expansion, while some may even close down permanently. It has happened in the past. At the end, Nigerians are the ones that will suffer”. 

The NUFBTE President said the companies are already looking outside Nigeria for alternate production of their products and would rather move to a more favourable business climate in the West Africa region. 

According to him, the union investigation revealed that more employers in the sector are conducting survey on the probability of moving to Ghana and other countries in the region. 

“Initially, Seven Up had only one plant in Africa, which is Nigeria, but now it has another in Ghana. More of them now want to reduce their operation in Nigeria and move to Ghana. 

“Our government should not take it with levity because that’s how Michelin, Dunlop and others move to Ghana and still bring back the products to Nigeria to sell,” he lamented. (Daily Independent)


Source: News Express

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