Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adeniyi Adebayo, has expressed Federal Government’s readiness to support beer producers to keep them in business in the face of daunting challenges.
A statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by the minister’s Special Adviser, Media, Mr Ifedayo Sayo, quoted Adebayo as making the pledge while addressing representatives of the Beer Sectoral Group.
The Minister said that government is aware of the challenges facing the manufacturing sector and was doing everything within its power to address them.
Adebayo said he was ready to offer support for the sector by engaging his colleagues on some of the issues raised in their presentations.
On the issue of forex, he said he had assurances from the Central Bank that attention would be given to manufacturers using local raw materials in their bid to import machines for their use.
Earlier, the secretary of the beer sectoral group, Mr Tony Eneh, listed some challenges facing producers of beer to include devaluation, restricted access to foreign exchange and insecurity.
Others are escalating logistics cost, Covid-19, ease of doing business, increasing excise duty, multiplicity of taxes and tax stamp.
He noted that despite the increase in the yearly taxes paid by the beer producers, their net profit has been on the decline due to the challenges.
Eneh, therefore, sought the support of the Minister towards achieving excise deferment for year 2022 and beyond.
He also solicited closer engagement between the minister and the beer industry; access to foreign exchange and other support that may be deemed necessary.
The delegation was led by the Managing Director of International Breweries, Mr Hugo Rocha.