In order to facilitate the enforcement of the directive of Federal Government on the issue of multiple levies and unauthorized checkpoints on road transportation of agricultural produced across the country, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Bukar Hassan has inaugurated an Inter- Agency Committee on the Enforcement of Ban on the collection of Levies/ Taxes on Agricultural produce and Agro- Allied Products on the Highway.
The Permanent Secretary said the Committee became necessary because of the problem that arose from the non-compliance by relevant state Agencies, Local Government Authorities who engaged private organizations to enforce multiple Levies and unauthorized check points on the road transportation of Agricultural produce in the country.
The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director Human Resources in the Ministry Mrs. Bunmi Shobowale stated that “As Stakeholders, we are aware of the incessant petitions by agro-commodities traders against the non-adherence of the implementation of the abolition of the collection of multiple taxes and levies on agro/ agro allied products on the Nigerians highways and the Honourable Minister’s appeal to the 36 state Governments and FCT, conveying the decision of the Government on the subject matter to ensure the compliance of all parties, local government authorities continue to impose such levies and taxes on movement of agric products on the highways .
The Permanent Secretary urged the committee to be strict in their task, to first note the practice of some states Produce Departments in-engaging private Revenue collectors in disregard to the Produce Inspection Division Identification Certificate (PIDIC) as well as recognize the approval of the National Council on Agriculture and Rural Development in 2011 that all agriculture produce should be adequately inspected, graded and certified at only “One Point of loading” of a produce and that the certificate issued by a state should be accepted at all produce inspection posts throughout the Federation without the additional levy to the point of destination.
To enable the committee accomplish its task, the following Terms of Reference which were clearly spelt out include – To determine modalities to ensure enforcement of the Ban on collection of Levies/ taxes on Agricultural produce / agro- Allied products on the highways; To secure state Government commitment and compliance to resolutions and directives of the matter and to request state Governments restrictions of relevant state Agencies, local Government Authorities and engaged private Organizations from redeploying their revenue collections outfits with regards to the NCITI, NCEC and NP’S resolution and directives on the matter, among others.
The Chairman of the committee and Director of Planning and Policy Co-ordination in the Ministry, Alhaji Auwal Ahmed Maidabino who was represented by the Deputy Director I.C.T (Information Communication Technology) Engr. Tunde Bello on behalf of other members thanked the government for given them the opportunity to serve and promised to deliver on the task given to them within the time frame.
30th March, 2017.