Manufacturers, Kano government face-off over new land use tax
The move by the Kano state government to scale–up it Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) through a new legislation mandating members of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in the state, to pay accumulated Land Use Charges, is generating a face-off between the two parties.
The new tax law sponsored by the state`s executive council and passed by the Legislators, is compelling manufacturers, and other property owners in the state to pay arrears of accumulated land use charges, which is estimated to run into several billions of naira.
The state government says it intended to use the revenue to be generated from the new source to address development challenges, particularly the provision of essential infrastructure and sustainable social services
As a way of kick-starting the implementation of the new law, Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, had last week constituted an eight – man task-force that will follow-up and collect accumulated Land Use Charges in the state.
According to a statement signed by Ameen K. Yassar, director-general, Media and Communication, and made available to BusinessDay, the constituted task-force is charged with the mandate of assisting government to execute the law.
The statement reads: “The state government has constituted an eight –man task-force that will follow-up and collect accumulated Land Use Charges in the state. The aim of the task-force is to generate additional revenue needed to address development challenges, particularly the provision of essential infrastructure and sustainable social services.
“The Taskforce has Habibu S. Mailemo, former chairman of Fagge Local Government Council, and now, special adviser to the governor on Revenue as Chairman.
“Other members are: Ibrahim Ahmad Karaye, Special Adviser on Land Management, Director Government Business, Kano State Internal Revenue Service (KIRS), representative of Bureau for Land Management, as well as, representative of the Nigerian Police.
“The rest are: representative of the Director, Department of State Services, and representative of the Technical Adviser, while Hafsat Wali, Deputy Director Legal, Bureau for Land Management will serve as Secretary”.
However, manufacturers in the state, are faulting the move by the state government to impose a new tax obligation on them, under the current difficult environment which they are operating.
Speaking exclusively to BusinessDay on the issue, Kabiru Musa Adamu, who is the newly elected chairman of the Sharada/Challawa Branch of MAN in Kano, expressed the opposition of MAN to the new tax law
According to local MAN`s chairman, members of the association, viewed the implementation of the accumulated land use charges as additional tax burden that has the potential of escalating the on-going depopulation of manufacturing plants, as well as other forms of businesses in the state.
“Our members, are particularly worried by the new dimension that implementation of the law is taking, as the move is being done in violation of earlier agreement we reached with state government over the matter, during the retreat held in Kaduna.
“We also noted an aspect of the tax law, especially, what is term collection of arrears of accumulated land use charges, as not being in tandem with the spirit of the resolutions arrived at during the meeting which MAN held with members of the State House of Assembly, in respect of the implementation of the law.
“The state chapter of MAN has consistently made it known, that it was not properly consulted during the process that led to the formulation of the tax law, and our position on the matter is that it implementation will do more damage to the aspiration of the state to revive industrial activities and it job creation agenda.
“For God sake, how can you want a manufacturer that is barely able to make profit, and struggling to pay it workers, to come and pay accumulated land use charges, running into several millions of naira, where is he going to get the money to do that?.
Kabiru want the state government to suspend the implementation of the law and open dialogue with stakeholders, so as to find amicable solution to the issue.
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