By Millicent Onaga, Enugu
The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has reiterated its commitment to support potential exporters in the South-East region to participate in export activities.
The South-East Regional Coordinator of the NEPC, Mr Arnold Jackson stated this during a stakeholders’ forum organised by the council for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operators in Enugu.
According to him the council had set out to reawaken the consciousness of SMEs owners in the region to take advantage of the various investment incentives to grow their businesses.
He said that the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement had made it more compelling for entrepreneurs to launch their products in the global market.
He, however, expressed concern that the activities of SMEs operators domiciled in the region were not very visible in the international market due to obvious challenges.
Jackson called for experience sharing and collaboration between the entrepreneurs and relevant agencies in the export industry in the region.
In a presentation, the state coordinator, Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states, Mr Bennett Agu, said that the federal government had directed the implementation of tax waivers and incentives for business owners.
Agu said that small businesses with a return of below N20million was currently on tax holidays while medium enterprises were charged 20 per cent on income tax.
The FIRS coordinator said that big businesses were on 30 per cent income tax.
He said that there were lots of opportunities for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses but expressed concern that such openings were not exploited.
“This is because a good number of the entrepreneurs shy away from reporting their true financial positions, thereby, jettisoning the idea of taking loans and other incentives.
“We have taken measures to make FIRS friendly,” he said.
Agu said that entrepreneurs with less than N30, 000 earning were not supposed to pay any form of tax, including local government levies.