At least 10,750 participants are expected to attend the 2021 Advance Africa Entrepreneurship, Business Owners and Executives International Conference and Exhibition scheduled for Nov. 22 in Abuja.
The Conference Director, Mr Kennedy Eze, said the event would provide a platform for the business community, government and institutional stakeholders to exchange ideas.
According to Eze, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), entrepreneurs and business owners and executives in Nigeria and African business community will have direct link with government policy makers and policy regulators.
“This will examine how businesses affect the Nigerian populace.
“In every society there are three key players – the people, business players and regulators.
“The essence of this programme, bringing these groups together, is to discuss and find a way of moving the economy and ensuring the business environment improves.
“The programme, which will be physical and online, is looking at 10,750 participants from across Africa and Asia.
“This programme is essential for SMEs because I found out something in the Nigerian business community.
“The SMEs are somehow cut out from what the government is doing.
“It is like they are at the receiving end and government just make policy without having an understanding of what the SMEs are doing.
“So, how does it affect them?
“The issue of this problem lingering between some of the state governments and Federal Government over tax is an example.
“But who is the payer of that tax? It is the businesses and that was responsible for the increase from five per cent to 7.5 per cent.
“We are looking at this impact on the purchasing power of Nigerians because businesses transfer the tax and the end user will pay,’’ Eze said.
He underscored the need for government to introduce tax incentives and policies that would encourage investments in Nigeria and Africa.
He argued that a lot of global players could not invest in Africa because of arbitrary increase in tax.
He said that tax increase had the potency of discouraging investments because high tax would translate to high product price and ultimately low patronage.
“Government needs to implement selective taxation, looking at sectors to enjoy reduced tax, tax free and tax regime.
“This is because when there is tax free in certain areas, you realise that it is easy for investors to come in.
“I own a company in Singapore and for two years my company paid no tax and we were able to employ Singaporeans.
“But here, the government concentrates much on what it will get from the business.
“With such attitude, the business is going to die and at the end you are not getting much.