The Governor Yahaya Bello-led government of Kogi State has finally revealed why it imposed a tax on every loaf of bread and confectionery sold in the state.
The reason for the action, which has generated so much public outcry, was given on Friday, November 13, by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo.
According to Fanwo, the government did so in efforts to protect indigenous bakers from people that bring bread to the state without paying any form of levy.
The state Ministry of Commerce and Industry had announced the levy
on November 9. The ministry failed to give any reason for the action.
Many people in the state and outside the state kicked against the imposition of levy on bread by the government.
However, Fanwo said in a statement he signed and entitled, ‘The facts about the bakery levies’:
“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.
“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.”