Kogi Cashew Crisis: Gov. Ododo Vows to Tackle Multiple Taxation

by Ohepo Ohepo

The Kogi State government has denied allegations made by cashew farmers and buyers regarding an increase in produce grading fees, asserting that the new administration under Governor Usman Ododo adheres strictly to due process in its operations.

Recently, the Farmers Forum of Nigeria, representing Kogi State’s farmers and buyers, voiced concerns over a rumored hike in produce payment fees from ₦30,000 to ₦90,000, urging Governor Usman Ododo to address the issue of multiple taxation, which they claimed could tarnish the state’s reputation.

The group’s spokesperson, Barrister Ibrahim Adam, called on the state government to alleviate their financial burden, emphasizing the unsustainable level of multiple taxation in the state.

According to their statement, the Produce Inspection Department (PID) in Kogi State imposes the highest inspection fee in Nigeria, at ₦30,000 per truck, a stark contrast to the significantly lower fees charged in other states.

The statement detailed the fee disparities:

  • Kogi PID ₦30,000
  • Kano PID ₦5000
  • Gombe PID ₦5,000
  • Katsina PID ₦3,000
  • Yobe PID ₦2,000
  • Nasarawa PID ₦20,000
  • Benue PID ₦25,000
  • Oyo PID ₦20,000
  • Niger PID ₦10,000
  • Bauchi PID ₦5,000
  • Jigawa PID ₦3,000
  • Yola PID ₦4,000
  • Kaduna PID ₦7,000
  • Osun PID ₦10,000

In addition to the PID fees, the group also highlighted other levies that contribute to the burden of multiple taxation on Kogi state cashew buyers, including interstate levies, loading and offloading fees, environmental fees, and more, all imposed by the Kogi State Board of Internal Revenue.

In response to these complaints, the Honorable Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Honorable Timothy Ojomah, assured that the grading cost would remain stable and dismissed the rumored increase as unfounded.

Ojomah, representing Governor Ododo, emphasized during a press briefing that the government will take action against anyone found extorting marketers and advised foreigners to avoid direct interactions with farmers, assuring them that grading costs will not change.

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