As the world marks the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSME) Day, business operators in Bayelsa have called on the state government to create a more business-friendly environment and reduce multiple taxation.
The MSME day is marked on June 27 yearly, and this year’s theme is “MSME 2021: key to an inclusive and sustainable recovery”, and aims to combat the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic across the world.
Speaking on issues facing business owners in Yenagoa, The CEO Deprize Group of Companies, Hon. Emomotimi Fanama appealed to the government to reduce the taxes payable by entrepreneurs.
He described the taxes as outrageous, saying the tax collection system in the state is haphazard which sustains multiple taxation and makes it challenging for small businesses to thrive.
He also lamented the epileptic power supply in the state which is responsible for high cost of production, calling on the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) to step up power supply in the state.
He said, “I want to use this opportunity to talk on the light issue, this affects small businesses. There’s also double taxation in the state. The tax system in this state is not properly managed.
“Each of the ministries will come with different things all in the name of tax for government, when the government is not recieving a dime”.
He called on the government to lower tax rates in the state as a way to support businesses and create employment for the people of the state.
He said, “It’s not by giving loan to people who are not serious, to start businesses, the government must look at the people who are already into the business and encourage those people.
“These people have already trained others, and they can pick out people from there, not when they give out loans to people who don’t even want to go into the business, like farmers loans.
Hon. Fanama admonished entrepreneurs to be consistent and avoid unnecessary spending in order to run a sustainable business.
“Young entrepreneurs, consistency matters. If you know you make a profit of ten thousand naira, you should not be thinking of spending twenty thousand naira.
“If you know you are not making profit in that business, forget it and dive into another one and sustain it”, he concluded.