Tuesday , January 25 2022

‘Employers will move to Ghana if FG imposes tax on carbonated drinks’ – NUFBTE warns

The National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), has warned that more employers of labour are looking at the possibilities of moving to Ghana with the proposed plan by the Federal Government to tax carbonated drinks.

President of the union, Mr. Lateef Oyelekan, in a statement, observed that implementation of the tax would lead to massive job loss.

Oyelekan said, “The soft drinks companies and breweries are the ones providing millions of jobs for Nigerians directly and indirectly, and with their planned expansion, it means more jobs for Nigerians.

“The 7Up Bottling Company has over 10 locations in the country and it has told us of its expansion plan in its production lines at each plant; same for Nigeria Bottling Company, and others.

“The Federal Government should rather be seen to be creating a conducive environment for these companies to create more jobs for the citizens, rather than overburdening them with taxes. These companies provide both direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians from permanent to casual employees, suppliers, distributors and retailers, and all these run into several millions.

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

“Should this happen, these companies 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.

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“These 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.

“Our investigation has revealed that more employers in the sector are conducting survey on the probability of moving to Ghana and other countries in the region.”

About David Eneh

David is a prolific writer and a tested reporter

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