The Kogi State Government has hired a consultant to levy bakers and caterers for every single loaf of bread and confectionery they produce in the state.
The state’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry appointed Musag Enterprises as the consultant.
The ministry made the introduction on November 9, through a memo signed by the Commissioner’s Permanent Secretary, Usman Ibrahim.
The memo was addressed to the chairperson, Association of Master bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Kogi State branch.
The collection of the levy will start from November 16, 2020.
This levy is coming at a time when entrepreneurs and small business owners have barely recovered from the hit of the pandemic on economic activities.
A loaf of bread sells for as low as N70 in Kogi State, but it is yet unclear how much will be levied on each loaf.
The spokesperson to the Kogi State government, Onogwu Muhammed, when contacted, promised to get back to the media but did not do so as of press time.
The consultant, Musag Integrated Enterprises, with Registration Number 2476494, is a business name owned by one Shagiru Mohammed Mustapha.
The company was registered on February 2, 2017. Its business address is given in registration papers as 19 Navy Road, Apapa, Lagos.
However, bakers in the state, on the platform of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) stated that the bakers were against the levy.
A member of the association, Godfirst, said the association will meet with the consultant, noting that they received a memo from the ministry imposing a levy “on each loaf of bread” produced.
“The letter was sent to us that a consultant has been given the job to generate fund from bakery to state government.
“We are trying to meet with the consultant, but we have not been able to meet with him. We want to meet with him to give us more explanation.
“We are not happy about it. Presently, there is no market. We are facing different types of challenges, and if they are now asking us to pay another tax, we don’t know how we can cope,” he said.
Kingsley Fanwo, the state Commissioner for Information, was not unavailable for comments.
Governor Yahaya Bello had on September 22 announced the suspension of the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KGIRS), after accusing the agency of “violating corporate governance in the service as revealed by the 2019 Audited Financial Report of the KGIRS.”
“We write to introduce the above mentioned as the Consultant appointed by the Kogi State Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to collect the above-mentioned levy from all Master Bakers and Caterers doing business in and across Kogi State.
“You are, therefore, required to avail them all necessary cooperation to enable them to carry out their assignment.
“The above-mentioned levy is to be paid per loaf of bread or other confectioneries products produced per day.
“Please do comply with this policy to improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State for the provision of better services and good governance.
“The collection of this levy shall take effect seven (7) days from the date of receipt of this letter. You are expected to communicate this information to all your members.
“Have the assurance of our esteemed regards.” – Premium Times, Vanguard.