The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called on the Nigerian government and commercial banks to grant a one-year tax break to businesses, temporarily suspend and 50 percent increase in VAT.
LCCI also asked banks to grant loan moratorium to businesses.
During a press briefing on the state of the economy by the President of the Chamber, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, LCCI noted that the coronavirus pandemic had dealt a severe blow to the global economy with continued disruptions to economic, business and financial activities around the world.
With businesses shutting down operations, factories on lockdown, trade activities on hold, Mabogunje called for proactive measures to be taken to help mitigate the negative impacts of the pandemic.
Describing the business environment as “bleak”, the LCCI president said, “Businesses will continue to grapple with the devastating shock of the pandemic amid weak macro fundamentals for some time to come.
“We, therefore, propose the following policy measures for the business community for consideration: a year tax break for health care and pharmaceutical companies, airlines, manufacturers, agro-processors, SMEs, and hospitality players.”
“Temporary suspension of 50 percent increase in VAT rate until the end of the year. Also, PAYE should be suspended for the next six months. This would help boost purchasing power and aggregate demand, thereby
stimulating the economy.”
On loan rescheduling, Mabnogunje said, “Commercial banks are implored to offer a reprieve to businesses and corporates indebted to them. The reprieve could be in the form of loan moratorium and restructuring.
“We urge the CBN to review the cash reserve ratio downwards to 20 percent to enable commercial banks to have more liquidity to support businesses.”
LCCI further called on the Federal Government to complete critical infrastructure projects across the country such as the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, the second Niger bridge, and the East-West Road as they will have a significant impact on commercial activities and businesses.
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