From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Audu Ogbeh, Minister of Agric
National Association for Promotion of Agriculture and Food Security (NAAFS), Kogi state chapter has praised the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for the abolition of multiple- taxation on livestock and agricultural products in the country.
Chairman of the NAAFS Kogi state chapter, Musa Abdullahi Adakeke, made the commendation in Lokoja at the weekend while inaugurating the newly elected executive committee of the Kogi Agro–Allied Products Suppliers/Cassava Farmers Union.
Adakeke said the abolition of the roadblocks and illegal “quarantine” checkpoints is a huge relief to farmers, suppliers, transporters, traders and consumers of agricultural products.
According to the Chairman, the transporters of livestock and agricultural products pay millions of naira to security men and produce revenue collectors at hundreds of illegal checkpoints across the country.
Adakeke alleged that such extortion of money from transporters has been responsible for
cost of foods, leading to hunger across the country.
“Multiple taxation is responsible for high cost of food across the country. It is also proved to be responsible for wastage of unsold food in view of lack of storage facilities”, Adakeke explained.
He charged the new executive to ensure strict compliance with the federal government’s reform on haulage of agricultural produce especially cassava
The cassava producers and suppliers union has complained of harassment by security operatives and a gang of thugs who claimed they are acting on the instruction of Kogi state government.
As patronage and compensation for political loyalty, the state government set up produce revenue collection teams for the 3 senatorial districts.
Most of the monies collected end up in the pockets of the collectors, while a paltry sum is remitted to the Kogi state Board of Internal Revenue.