Cashew farmers threaten Kogi govt over multiple taxation
The Kogi state chapter of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN) has written to the Federal Government to complain about multiple taxations being imposed on its members and buyers by the Kogi State government.
Addressing newsmen in Ayingba on Monday, the association said that such imposition by the Kogi state agencies made cashew farming and business in the state the most expensive when compared to other states in the country.
The body also issued a 14 day ultimatum to the Kogi government to reverse all the taxes, failure of which the association will embark on a next line of action.
The association was however silent on the next line of action it would take if the demand was not met.
Chairman of the association, Elder Sule Ochala, who addressed the press on behalf of the association, said that of particular concern was the state government’s encouragement to agencies, some of which were not even known to the body, to impose levies of all kinds on cashew farmers and buyers in the state as well as the forceful harassment and intimidation of the said farmers and buyers in the state.
For instance, he said that cashew dealers were being made to buy Kogi jute bag at a high rate of N1000 per bag instead of the N470 per bag in favour of the state government.
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According to him, the breakdown of the various levies are: grading fees – N30,000; haulage fee – N10,000; State environmental – N6,000; NAAPD, which is not known to the industry also imposed N6,000 while N5,000 was being imposed as youth levy.
Other levies he said include: local government departmental levy – N10,000, and Local government environmental levy – N3,000.
All these levies he said has pushed up the Price per jute bag to N400,000 per bag instead of N180,000 from an open market.
This is coming as the price of cashew has dropped considerably to below N6,000 against N50,000 last year.
He called on the federal government to call the state government to order as such levies were inflicting more hardship to the people of the state since 85 per cent of the total population of the state are cashew farmers and traders.
According to him, “Kogi state cannot be an exception from other Cashew producing States. Enugu,Niger,Edo,Benue and Nasarawa States paid averagely N1,000 to N2,000 in all per truck while sum together of that of Kogi state is about half a million.”