The Kogi State Government has debunked news making the rounds that it introduced fresh levies on bread makers in the state, stating that the said levy has been in existence for long, and is only being enforced on bakers outside the state who import bread without paying the levy.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Kingsley Fanwo while making this clarification to newsman in Lokoja on Friday said, the move was to protect indigenous bakers who suffer in the hands of bakers from other states that dump their products in the state without paying levies.
His statement read; “We have seen and read news reports about a letter from a consultant engaged by the Kogi State Government to collect bakery levies.
“Let us place on record that the levies are not new. Indigenous bakeries have been paying all their levies to the State Government in compliance to our revenue law.
“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. 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”.
Fanwo added that the present administration in the State has, through her policies has supervised a steady increase in the number of businesses, adding that government will continue to work for the people, with the people and also continue to listen to all interests.