Nollywood star, Ramsey Nouah has said the industry is heavily taxed by the government, urging government to come up with a viable taxation structure to keep the industry from collapse.
The actor who was a panelist at the tax forum for start-ups and SMEs in Abuja, said despite the massive contribution of the film industry to the nation, taxation is frustrating the growth of the sector.
According to him, the money the Bank of Industry (BOI) pumped to expand the horizons of Nigerian Cinemas is quite commendable but still too small to make an impact in the sector.
Ramsey said; “Taxation is inevitable. I support it, but right now Nollywood is heavily taxed. The equipment we use, whether old or new are heavily taxed.
“The industry is not yet self-sustaining. Yet we are slammed with taxes. The practitioners are taxed, the distributors are taxed.
“The Bank of Industry (BOI) pumped some money to expand the horizons of cinemas in Nigeria, quite commendable but it’s still too small, ” he said.
Also speaking, Nigerian rapper and and president of Chocolate City, MI Abaga, said the Nigerian music scene grew without government investment, hence there was the need to ensure the industry does not collapse under prohibitive taxes.
MI disclosed that he has been paying his tax in Lagos for five years, noting that taxation is necessary but government cannot kill the citizens to save government just as people can’t kill government to save citizens.
“At present the music scene is still evolving, it’s not yet financially literate to deal with issues like full taxation.
“We have a generation of youth that feel short-changed by corruption in public life; music has become an avenue for them to feel a sense of fulfillment. We have to find a middle-line that will benefit us all.
“At Chocolate city, we are in the business for the love of the people, not just for making money,” MI stated.