Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello has said his administration will sanction officials behind the proposed levy on bread produced in the state.
A statement from the office of the deputy governor, Edward Onoja, quoted Bello as describing the tax as “devilish” and “embarrassing.”
The Ministry of Commerce had last week wrote to the Kogi State chapter of the Association of Master bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) about a new levy “on each loaf of bread.”
One of the leaders of the association had expressed their displeasure, saying: “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.”
But the Commissioner for Information, Kingsley Fanwo defended the levy, which he said is not new and is meant to protect local bakers and the state’s economy.
However, contrary to the commissioner’s claim, Onoja quoted the governor as saying he never approved such levy, which he said is “in fact, an embarrassment to the state government.”
“I am directed by His Excellency to give the lie to news of an alleged tax imposed on each loaf of bread to be sold in Kogi State.
“There is no iota of truth in the claims that we have approved such wickedness because we have not and cannot.
“We have just seen a purported consultancy agreement between one of our ministries and a private firm to impose an ill-conceived levy on bread in the state.
“For the records, neither the Governor nor the state executive council has imagined or proposed such a devilish tax regime, how much less imposing same on any food or essential commodity, not to mention bread which is a table staple and the basic lifeline of many a household,” he said.