The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has expressed concern over reports of interception of containers on the highways by the officials of Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
The chamber raised the concern in a communique by the Director-General, Mr Muda Yusuf, and President, Mr Babatunde Runseweon, Monday in Lagos at the end of its council meeting signed .
The LCCI noted that where there were outstanding charges to be paid to SON or issues about SONCAP compliance, such matters should be dealt with before the container leaves the port.
“It is unprofessional for the operatives of SON to be intercepting containers on the highways on account of some fees or charges that have not been settled by importers,” LCCI said.
The chamber also expressed concern over the directive of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to banks to put a lien on the accounts of alleged tax defaulters.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a lien is a right to keep possession of property belonging to another person until a debt owed by that person is discharged.
“There should be proper communication and engagement with taxpayers to properly ascertain a tax liability before such extreme actions of invocation of a lien on the accounts of companies are taken.
“This practice is very disruptive and has causes grave embarrassment to many corporate organisations,” it said.
The chamber urged FIRS to adhere strictly to due process in dealing with issues of alleged tax defaults.
LCCI also said that there was the need for a concessionary tax rate for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) to promote the objectives of job creation and inclusive growth as enshrined in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
It noted that small businesses were vulnerable to the current challenges in the economy, hence their high mortality rate, adding that SMEs deserve every support that government could give.