The Federal Government is to develop a regulatory framework to formulate a unified single tax regime for agricultural produce in transit across Nigeria, the Minister of Agriculture, Muhammad Nanono, has said.
The minister said this was aimed at eliminating the prevalence of multiple taxation, and imposition of illegal taxes by states and local governments for produce in transit which currently cause unnecessary blockades on the country’s highways.
He disclosed this while announcing a seven–man committee to work out modalities for the formulation of the necessary regulations.
The regulations and laws, he said, would ultimately help in addressing and solving the existing problems.
Nanono said that unless the problems were remedied, they could jeopardize the nation’s quest to entrench food security.
The Minister said his ministry had the mandate of coordinating and organizing the marketing of agricultural produce in the country.
Nanono said such problems of multiple taxations for agricultural goods moving from the northern to the southern parts of the country resulted in a strike by traders recently.
He said the strike caused hardship and hiking of prices for key agricultural produce especially in the southern part of the country.
“In this regard, the Ministry of Agriculture will therefore work with relevant sister ministries and agencies to formulate a Unified Single Tax Regime for Agricultural Produce in transit,” Nanono said.
The Minister further disclosed that he would hold consultations with the Nigerian Governors Forum, relevant ministries and agencies, as well as other relevant stakeholders to concretize the initiative.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Earnest Umakhihe, said the move was timely, Umakhihe said this was in view of the need for the country to continue pursuing its resolve to ensure peace and stability as well as the much-needed food security for Nigerians.
– man committee is headed by the Director, Veterinary Services, Dr. Olaniran Alabi, and it included Folashade Joseph, Managing Director Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation.
Another member is the Director, Bank of Agriculture, Alwan Hassan, who reported that the committee would be formally inaugurated by the Permanent Secretary on March 29. (NAN)