Friday, November 13, 2020 12:54 pm
Kogi State Government has confirmed it’s recent directive on bakery levies in the State. A consultant on the subject hired by the government had issued a letter to bakers imposing a levy on every loaf of bread.
He said the fee was not punitive but meant to improve revenue generation to the coffers of government. But an uncomfortable Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, AMBCN, the umbrella body of bakers cried foul on the development.
Members of the association who expressed fears the policy could lead to an increase in the price of bread and job loss demanded for a meeting with the consultant. The meeting was still being awaited at press time.
In a swift reaction however, Kingsley Fanwo, Commissioner for Information and Communication said the new directive is intended to protect indiginous bakers from the destructive activities of their counterparts outside the State.
He said the levies are not new and that indigenous bakeries have been paying all their levies to the State Government in compliance to revenue law.
He noted that “the recent letter was one of our strategies at protecting our Indigenous bakers and also protect our economy from the activities of bakers outside the State who bring their bread to the State without paying any form of levy.
“No responsible Government will sit by and watch her indigenous businesses lose the local market.
Our indigenous bakers have complained bitterly about the activities of external bakers who packed their bread to the State in trucks and sell without paying anything to the State Government.
Poor sales by our bakers may lead to job losses, a situation we are determined to use legitimate means to avert.
“As a Government, we have put in place tax relief measures to protect businesses from the unfortunate fangs of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are not insensitive to the plight of business owners at this critical period.
Fanwo said relevant Ministries, Agencies and Parastatals shall continue to engage business owners to ensure Government policies are tailored towards improving business health and wealth.
“We assure the Master Bakers of our open door policy and our readiness to keep listening to them in order to smoothen relationships and factors aiding their production as bread consumers have nothing to fear.