Abiodun OBA

 

Farmers under the aegis of the Agricultural Produce Sellers Association of Nigeria (APSAN), have cried out that  illegal checkpoints in each state of the federation are affecting its members.

APSAN National President, Aloy Akorsaha, at a press briefing in Abuja, noted that the association recently alerted the police and other law enforcement agencies to look into the matter.

Akorsaha also lamented the multiplicity of taxes imposed on farmers and marketers of farm produce, stating that the act was affecting food production.

“APSAN has taken the case of multiplicity of taxes to the Public Complaint Commission. We have discovered that there are illegal checkpoints in each state.

“You will see the internal revenue services collecting taxes on particular produce. For instance, yam and groundnut, farmers pay taxes called haulage.

“So we have presented this case to the Public Complaint Commission and they interfaced with the Federal Inland Revenue Service and they have prepared to forward the bill to the National Assembly for amendment.

“Because these issues are contributing to revenue loses. The illegal checkpoints are affecting our members,” he said.

Akorsaha, however, urged Nigerians to take advantage of loans provided by the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL) to better their lot.

According to him, over 881,000 Nigerians including 20,000 APSAN members (agric dealers) have so far benefitted from the N503.3 billion disbursed by the NIRSAL microfinance bank.

He added, “In view of the above, APSAN hereby supports the programmes mentioned above and will continue to encourage businesses and households to make use of the opportunity to better their lives and enhance their businesses.

“The fact remains that this is the first time a programme is impacting positively on the lives of ordinary Nigerians especially the grassroots without any interference from the power that be.”

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