Event Professionals Laments Multiple Taxation and Levies

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CEM REPORT | Event management practitioners under the umbrella of the Coalition of Event Professionals, have lamented over the multiple taxation and levies from various government agencies.

The sector which comprised venue owners, food service providers, vendors, designers, party organisers, musical band owners, amongst said the multiple taxes and levies were crippling the sector and have kept many out of business.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Ikeja, Lagos, the sector claimed it contributes over N100b to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

President, International Live Event Association (ILEA), Nigeria Chapter, Kunmi Ariyo, lamented that despite raking in billions of Naira into government coffers, regulatory agencies kept taxing them excessively, Guardian reports.

“If an event practitioner gets a deposit of N100m, that money does not belong to him. That money is used to pay for services he will render. But, government agencies keep taxing us on the full amount.

“Ideally, the agencies are supposed to tax us on our management or consultancy fee. That is where our profit is, not the money we use in paying for the venue and other services,”.

The President, Association of Event Vendor’s Nigeria (ASSEV), Abiodun Oniyitan, said the sector is an employer of labour, as statistics showed that the industry made over N50 billion in terms of turnover for Lagos State alone.

Oniyitan further said, the government through its agencies saw event practitioners only as a means for income generation adding that the government should create one agency to regulate the sector as against the five currently regulating.

We have over five agencies regulating just one industry. We should have a central body that regulates the event industry.

“The government should support the sector. It is supposed to be a win-win relationship. That is what we are asking for.”

Wole Awe, a member of Association of Venue Owners Lagos, Nigeria (AVOLN), also lamented that the multiple taxation and levies levelled on event practitioners by different government agencies ranging from consumer protection, safety, ministry of tourism, fire service certification, entertainment tax under local government, parking and so many others, which he said is killing the industry and putting many out of business.

Our margins are getting smaller. If you make N200,000 from the business and pay N160,000 as taxes and levies, where is the gain?” he explained.

Regional Head, Business and Industry, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA), Aderonke Adesoye, said that some agents were not quick to dispose waste despite being charged.

She urged practitioners to register with LAWMA to avoid being sanctioned, adding that members should channel their complaints to LAWMA’s management.

Speaking on the day, Director Enforcement Compliance, Lagos Safety Commission, Babatunde Asinyobi, asked them to get safety permits before holding events to avoid breaking the law.

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