The Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) has said that the prices of foodstuffs would remain high if the increasing multiple taxation on their produce is not reviewed by the government.
Vanguard reports that the union said this at its 1st Quadrennial National Conference in Abuja on Sunday, July 1.
The union also urged the various tiers of government and security agencies to ride the nation’s highway of touts.
According to the union, in the guise, of generating revenue, the touts had continued to subject its members to subject its members to “criminal activities and robbery” as they move their goods from one part of the country to the other.
According to Dr Muhammed Tahir, national president of the union, the purpose of the meeting was to find lasting solution to what members of the union and consumers were going through.
“We are suffering from multiple taxation on the federal highways. Like from Maiduguri to Lagos or from Sokoto to Port Harcourt, when traveling at night, you see over 30 boys with sticks, planks and other dangerous materials all in the name of collecting revenue. I truly doubt their authenticity because they may not be working for government. What sort of revenue do you collect at 12 am or 1am? We see this as robbery or at best an illegal operation.
“Our union laws are in agreement with both states and federal revenue laws to pay our revenues from uploading points to offloading points. We discussed these with government at various levels and it is there. Imagine a situation that you load from Kano and pay everything as regards revenue and get the required permit but you again start paying another one from Kaduna, Niger, Abuja, Kogi, Edo, Delta, Anambra, Imo and so on.
“By the time you get to your destination, you may have incurred an extra N250,000 which you will add to the goods hence the increase in prices of food to the detriment of our fellow citizens. Government should please check this anomaly.”
He called on the government to provide a conducive business environment for his members to operate. He said unless this is done, there is nothing the union could do to bring down the cost of living.
A visit to Bariga market, Lagos, showed that there had been a drop in patronage as some traders complained that they were no longer making profit as they used to make daily.