Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has come out to debunk the news that his government had imposed a tax levied on each loaf of bread sold within the state, saying with intense displeasure that his administration would never put more burden on the citizens of the state and be it, bakers and bread sellers and the consumers.
During the just concluded week, the news of Kogi State government imposing a levy on every loaf of bread in the state spread like wildfire and met with dissent and disgust by the public. Amidst the outcry, the state Commissioner of Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo, in response to the news explained that the levy was imposed to protect indigenous bakers from those “who bring bread to the state without paying any form of levy”.
Now, the Deputy Governor of the state, Edward Onoja, has come out to say that him and the state governor, Yahaya Bello, were not informed about the new tax on loaves of bread in the state. Onoja in a statement released on Saturday, November 14, said the governor Yahaya Bello directed him to personally debunk the news to underscore how serious his government considered the disinformation.
”I am directed by His Excellency, Gov Yahaya Bello to give the lie to news of an alleged tax imposed on each loaf of bread to be sold in Kogi State. There is no iota of truth in the claims that we have approved such wickedness, because we have not and cannot.
Neither the Governor nor the state executive council has imagined or proposed such a devilish tax regime, how much less imposing same on any food or essential commodity, not to mention bread which is a table staple and the basic lifeline of many a household’, the statement read.
The Deputy Governor said that no extra financial burden will apply for the time being on citizens and assured that ‘any business which has met the regulatory requirements for doing business in Kogi State including payment of routine tax is entitled to operate freely, and that includes bakeries and bread traders.’ The statement also promised that the Kogi State Government will deal decisively with any person who tries to extort the public now the same way it dealt with those who tried to collect money from places of worship and residences for an ‘alleged official fumigation exercise’ early in the COVID19 cycle.
He urged Nigerians to disregard the alleged bread tax as not only improbable but impossible in Kogi State under the current administration. He also reassured the media and the general public that those behind the rumours would be fished out and punished.
‘We will not tolerate our own officials trying to profiteer off our people in any way, or even acting ill-advisedly in manners that cause them any form of distress’ he said
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