The Federal Ministry of Finance has said that the new excise duty rates on alcohol and cigarettes, which came into effect on June 4, was not targeted at destroying local manufacturers.
The Director of Information, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Hassan Dodo, said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
According to him, the purpose of introducing the new duty is to increase governmentâ€™s revenue.
â€œContrary 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.
â€œThis is part of measures by the government to encourage local production and protect local manufacturers.
â€œIt should also be noted that beer and stout are currently under import prohibition to protect the industry from unfair competition from foreign brands.
â€œIn addition, other locally excisable products such as non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, perfumes, corrugated papers or paper boards and cartons have no excise duties, â€ he said.
Dodo stated 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 reiterated the federal governmentâ€™s commitment 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. (NAN)