Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has called on the government to urgently intervene by increasing allocations for SMEs development, adding they have the capacity to address unemployment, grow the economy, contribute to GDP, build blocks for large businesses, introduce innovation and stabilise the society.
Razak Jaiyeola, 54th president of ICAN, observes that some of the main challenges confronting SMEs include poor infrastructure, policy inconsistency, access to finance, access to markets and business support, high level of unskilled labour, under-performing value chain, difficult regulatory environment and multiple taxations.
Jaiyeola stated this in Lagos while addressing journalists on the outcome of 48th Annual Accountants’ Conference Communiqué.
According to Jaiyeola, agribusiness, SMEs remains one of Nigeria’s greatest hopes for economic growth and development due to its potential for high growth rate in real terms, spanning across various segments of agricultural value chains and accounting for about 97 percent of the agricultural GDP.
He called on the government to empower agribusiness SMEs to take advantage of the agricultural value chain.
While identifying the drivers of a greater Nigeria to include security of life and property, sound macroeconomic environment, good infrastructure base, strong financial system, contract enforcement mechanism and fight against corruption, the ICAN president urged accountancy profession to drive the next generation by leveraging innovative opportunities like machine learning, specialisation and digital marketing.
He further recommended that tax administrators should collaborate and engage more with the taxpayers to bridge the information gap in order to promote voluntary compliance, stressing that the issue of multiplicity of taxes should be addressed expeditiously in the long-term interest of businesses.
“Tax administrators and tax consultants should collaborate to achieve the goal of driving development through tax revenue, the participants noted that there cannot be tax justice when those with governance responsibilities do not pay and remit their taxes as and when due to the FIRS,” he said.
He called on ICAN professionals to continuously strive to hone their skills so that they can reposition themselves for greater value creation and enhanced service offerings.