The Kogi State Government has explained why it imposed a tax on loaves of bread sold in the state.
The explanation follows mutterings from the state chapter of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria following a memo from the state’s ministry of commerce imposing a levy “on each loaf of bread”
The association had claimed that the tax would cause bread to be more expensive in the state.
But responding, the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Kingsley Fanwo in a statement said the move was to protect the master bakers from bread brought from outside the state.
In a statement titled, ‘The Facts About The Bakery Levies’, he said: “The recent letter was one of our strategies at protecting our Indigenous bakers and also protect our economy from the activities of bakers outside the State who bring their bread to the State without paying any form of levy.
“No responsible government will sit by and watch her indigenous businesses lose the local market. Our indigenous bakers have complained bitterly about the activities of external bakers who packed their bread to the state in trucks and sell without paying anything to the state government.
“Poor sales by our bakers may lead to job losses, a situation we are determined to use legitimate means to avert.
“We assure the Master Bakers of our open-door policy and our readiness to keep listening to them in order to smoothen relationships and factors aiding their production as bread consumers have nothing to fear.”