Confusion Trails Controversial Kogi Loaf Tax
Edward Onoja, the deputy governor of Kogi State, recently quoted Yahaya Bello, the governor, to have said that the new controversial bread levy in the state was “devilish and embarrassing” and that he or his Government never approved it.
Just days ago the state's ministry of commerce wrote to the Kogi chapter of the Association of Master bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) about a new levy “on each loaf of bread”.
The announcement triggered widespread criticism just as the bakers said they would not be able to meet the new demand as a result of different challenges occasioned by the pandemic.
Initially Kingsley Fanwo, the commissioner for information, had defended the levy, which he said is meant to protect local bakers and the state’s economy.
This was before the Governor rubbished it publicly and washed his hands off it.
However a document has now surfaced showing that the proposed levy on bread produced in Kogi was actually approved by the state government
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The document dated November 9, showed that Usman Ibrahim, permanent secretary of the ministry of commerce and industry, on behalf of the commissioner, informed the bakers that Musag Enterprises had been mandated as the consulting company to receive the levies on behalf of the state government.
“We write to introduce the above mentioned as the consultant appointed by the Kogi State Ministry of Commerce and Industry to collect the above mentioned levy from all master bakers and caterers doing business in and across Kogi State,
“You are, therefore, required to avail them all necessary cooperation to enable them carry out their assignment. The above mentioned levy is to be paid per loaf of bread or other confectionery products produced per day.
“Please do comply with this policy to improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state for the provision of better services and good governance.
“The collection of this levy shall take effect seven (7) days from the date of receipt of this letter. You are expected to communicate this information to all your members.”
More details as they unfold.
Photo > Courtesy AP