Nigeria: Cashew Farmers in Kogi Groan Over Multiple Taxation, Beg Gov Ododo to Intervene

2024-02-12 16:57:03


Lokoja -- Kogi State farmers and buyers, under the aegis of the Farmers Forum of Nigeria, have raised alarm over the plot to increase the produce payment from | 30,000 to | 90,000.

The forum appealed to the governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo, to halt multiple taxation in the state because it would turn Kogi State into a laughing stock.

Spokesperson of the group, Barrister Ibrahim Adam, asked the state government to stop suffocating them, saying they can no longer bear the burden of multiple taxation in the state.

The forum also called on President Bola Tinubu to direct the ministry of agriculture to address multiple taxation, insisting they could no longer breathe.

The Farmers Forum is a platform formed by concerned farmers who aim to standardize the level of agriculture in Nigeria, improve the farming system, and restore agriculture as the bedrock of communal and individual wealth, as it was in the past.

The statement read: "The Produce Inspection Department, PID, in Kogi State charges the highest inspection fee in the country at | 30,000 per truck, while other states, such as Kano, Gombe, Katsina, Yobe, and others charge significantly lower fees.

"As if that was not enough, the state's revenue service has decided to raise the levies on cashew goods to N90,000. The breakdown is as follows: Kogi PID | 30,000, Kano PID | 5000, Gombe PID | 5,000, Katsina PID | 3,000, Yobe PID | 2,000, Nasarawa PID | 20,000, Benue PID | 25,000, Oyo PID | 20,000, Niger PID | 10,000, Bauchi PID | 5,000, Jigawa PID | 3,000, Yola PID | 4,000, Kaduna PID | 7,000, and Osun PID | 10,000.

"Other unexplained receipts, which amount to multiple taxation imposed on Kogi State cashew buyers, have this breakdown of the various levies: interstate levy (haulage fee) | 13,000, IML | 5,000, loading and offloading fee | 12,000, pass | 5,000, state environmental fee | 6,000, local government environmental fee | 5,000, and local government departmental fee | 10,000.

"All these levies are from Kogi State Board of Internal Revenue, and there are also numerous roadblocks under the auspices of produce extorting motorists and harassing drivers and buyers carrying these cashew goods from farm gate to the warehouse for sale.

"Some of the boys are even carrying guns and other dangerous weapons scaring the foreigners."

Adam also urged the government to halt multiple taxes in the state, which he claims make Kogi more of a laughing stock.

He appealed to Kogi State government to promptly rein in its internally generating revenue head and reconsider plans to impose more taxes on cashew products.

Adams added: "These plans contradict the ease of doing business, deter foreign buyers and investors, and impoverish the farmers, as cashew buyers in Kogi State and other foreigners directly bear the brunt of these multiple taxes. The tax burden on cashew farmers who should be relieved during the cashew season, is being exacerbated by the state government's policies.

"Additional unexplained levies, amounting to multiple taxation on Kogi State cashew buyers include interstate levies, loading and offloading fees, pass fees, state and local government environmental fees, and local government departmental fees.

"All these levies are imposed by Kogi State Board of Internal Revenue, and numerous roadblocks manned by individuals claiming to be government agents further exacerbate the situation.

"The unnecessary harassment of cashew farmers and buyers by these individuals is hindering the cashew business in Kogi State.

"We call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other federal government agencies, such as the ministry of agriculture, to intervene and urge the state government to cease these levies, as they are causing undue hardship to the people, the majority of whom are cashew farmers and traders. Kogi State cannot be an exception from other cashew-producing states as Enugu, Niger, Edo, Benue, and Nasarawa."

2024-02-12 News