The federal government has been advised to review and redefine its policies and regulatory frameworks for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country as part of measures to stimulate economic growth.
Delivering the report of a tax advocacy paper targeted at MSMEs in Nigeria that was carried out by Deloitte Nigeria in collaboration with National Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (NASME) and ENABLE Nigeria, with the theme:
“Redefining the Policy and Regulatory Framework for MSMEs in Nigeria,” the Partner, Tax and Regulatory Services, Deloitte Nigeria, Mr. Oluseye Arowolo, said as part of the recommendations of the report, the federal government should ensure an amnesty programme of voluntary disclosure; harmonisation of taxes, fees and levies to reduce incidence of multiple taxation; dedicated MSME- friendly tax regime; and restructuring Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency in Nigeria (SMEDAN), to serve as a one-stop-shop agency.
The report revealed some of the challenges facing MSMEs in the country included government are perceived lacked of sensitivity; rigid and stringent requirements for start-up businesses; over regulation and insufficient fund and finance.
Giving further insights on the report, Arowolo noted that government would benefit immensely because “currently, only about27.7 per cent of registered businesses in Nigeria pay taxes out of the recorded number of 450,000.
“To unleash the potential of MSMES for the benefit of Nigeria’s economy, it is imperative for government to revisit its approach to the challenges of the MSME sector. The current disconnect in policy and the reality of MSMEs must be eliminated through appropriate combination of options. “The desire to assist government to appreciate expectations from the MSME sector has necessitated the preparation of this sector-wide paper. Stakeholders within the MSME sector through NASME are prepared to engage and dialogue further with government at all levels,” he added.