As part of measures to reduce the cost of food items and agro allied products in the region and the nation at large, the Nigeria Association of Agricultural Produce Dealers (NAAPD) has tasked all tiers of government to put in place policies that would stop multiple levies and taxes collection on such commodities in the South West.
Chairman of NAAPD, South West Zone, Prince Bakare Adeyinka made the plea on Wednesday at an interactive programme on the implementation of Federal Government policy on illegal multiple taxes and levies on agricultural produce and agro allied products on highways, markets and parks in the south west region of the country.
Adeyinka said that the multiple taxes collection on the highways has led to the high cost of food stuff in the market saying that there is 100% increase in agro allied when compared to the cost in the northern region of Nigeria.
The chairman lamented these levies and taxes collected on perishable items must be stopped because most of such items rot away due to delays caused by the illegal toll collectors.
He maintained that road blocks along the highways coupled with the numerous levies have affected prices of agro products in the market, calling on the three tiers of government to support the association in the state and region to halt the menace affecting price in the local markets.
“The collection of levies and taxes on agro allied products on the highways, markets and parks need urgent interventions by government”, he said.
Apparently worried by the high cost of transportation and other logistics affecting the price of commodities in the region, the NAAPD Chairman lamented that additional charges on such produces have multiplier effects on the masses.
“The Minister of Agriculture has given us his backing to go all out and sensitize people from the grass root for us to at least get the products cheaper and available in the market”, he added.
He said the association would do everything possible to ensure that agro allied products would reach the local markets in the zone but added that government needs to scrap the numerous levies on the roads,
He further noted that the sensitization programme will move to other parts of the south west region.
Also speaking, Director Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Paul Oranachi said that the government was inundated with the illegal levies and taxes collected by illegal operators.
The Director stressed the need for a committee to be set up for the purpose for enforcement adding that ministry of Justice would be involved for legal backing.
The interactive programme organised by the agriculture dealers in conjunction with the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development, had Heads of Department, agricultural and social services in the 57 Local Government and Local Council Development Area (LCDAs) all in attendance.
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