Multiple Taxation, Killing Small Scale Business – Mrs.Bintu | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Multiple Taxation, Killing Small Scale Business – Mrs.Bintu

Posted: May 30, 2015 at 3:38 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Alhaja Adenola Bintu Amusat is the Chief Executive Officer of Bintol Enterprises, a business venture that has spanned almost two decades transiting from sales of fabrics to distributorship of confectionery products such as sausages. In this interview, she tells Olamide Bakare her experience, foray into sales distributorship of confectioneries as well as the contending challenges confronting the business.

Mrs. Bintu

Mrs. Bintu

More often than not, those who are in one gainful employment or the other are regularly confronted with the dilemma of life after retirement. In most cases, they end up doing nothing when the retirement period eventually beckons. But for Alhaja Amusat that was not the case. At the time when she was about retiring in the workforce, she had her plan cut out. Having seen the challenges confronting retirees, she knew it was not going to be a bed of roses as she set out to establish a business of her own. Speaking on the journey into confectioneries business, Binta says it has been a road filled with mixed blessing

She says” I deal with snacks of various kinds. I have been in this business for over 15 years now. I retired 17 years ago as a banker working with Union Bank Plc.

Before now, I was trading in fabrics. That was what I was doing immediately after I retired as a banker. I was engaged in the trade for a number of years before I realized that things were not going well with the business. When I realised that there was a fall in demand for lace materials which were mostly in vogue at that period, I decided to diversify which led me to venture into confectioneries. Since then, I have not looked back. I I noticed that there was great demand on consumables and I thought confectioneries was the best option. At the moment, I have abandoned the fabric business ,focusing my attention on confectioneries. I don’t know if things turn out for the better, I may have toreturn back to the business once again.”

No doubt, the business must have had its fair share of challenges, Bintu says,  aside the problem of power supply and economic problem in the country, all other issues hardly affect the business.

She said” I think the major challenging affecting the business is not peculiar to us but also takes its toll on most business. This challenge is no other than power.  As you can see, the Ogba environ has been in total darkness for the past three days. We are no longer hopeful because it has become the norm not only in this area but Nigeria generality. I am sure you would be wondering how does power supply affect the business?. You know that if there is no electricity, chilled beverage drinks needed to enjoy the snacks won’t be available. Once the customer realised the drinks are not cold, they abandon the snacks. Sometimes, they resort to other options. So, my advice is that as the new government takes off, power supply should be its utmost priority. Unless that is done, I don’t see us going anywhere. I believe if they can solve the problem of electricity, more than 60% of the problems confronting Nigeria would have been solved. If there is electricity, all artisans would be fully engaged. If you notice in recent times that a lot of businesses have been closing down due to power outage. So, I am imploring the incoming administration to also ensure that corruption is wiped off. Take for instance, the power situation we are referring to have remained unsolved not because money were not accrued but as a result of corruption or mismanagement of funds accrued to NEPA.

One other challenge hampering the growth of this business is multiple taxation. As we speak, we pay taxes on all sort of things. I understand that businesses are supposed to pay tax but what we go through in the hands of government is constituting a serious drain on the business. As we speak, we pay tax on virtually everything ranging from television, land use, sign board to trade permits. These are some of the policies biting hard on small businesses generally”.

Asked for the amount of funds invested into the business, Bintu disclosed that her retirement benefit was all that she needed to set the business running

She notes” I invested a rough estimate of N2million .I actually got the slush fund through my retirement benefits and other savings. This was immediately after retiring as an accountant in the bank. The whole fund was purely invested in the fabric business .It was later on that I veered into other areas when the business was no longer forthcoming .I am a distributor to virtually all the retailers in this environ. We have about 40 items of snacks that we supply. I am grateful for the success recorded so far. We have a whole lot some of which include cookies, banana, plaintain, sweet potato, cheeseball. I am the first to engage in wholesale of confectioneries product in this area.

Business itself is about risk. You win some, and lose some.”

However, if there is anything that has proved helpful in the last 15 years, Bintu says her experience as a banker has been quite handy in solving issues relating to customers.

She says” I have had experience handful of  about credit while working as a banker. That explains why I have not had issue with my customers.”

Asked if she had encountered any problem with any of the companies, Bintu singled out Chi Limited saying plans are at advanced stage to engage a lawyer to take legal action against the company for a breach of business agreement.