The Agricultural Produce Sellers Association of Nigeria (ASPAN) has given reasons why prices of foodstuff have been on the increase in Nigeria.
Addressing a press conference in his office, ASPAN President, Comrade Aloys Akortsaha, disclosed that multiple taxation, illegal taxes and unnecessary roadblocks on roads were some of the reasons responsible for the unabated increase in the prices of agricultural produce.
Com Akortsaha also blamed the prevailing insecurity across the country that has prevented many farmers from accessing their farms as part of the problem, adding that, “If Government wants to stop these problems they need to stop these illegal taxes and illegal roadblocks. If you are transporting any produce across the states or even on local roads you will see many people on the roads collecting one form of tax or the other and at the end of the day all these things will be added to the price.”
He explained that the problem was that many of the taxes did not go to the government coffers, advising that if the government was able to tackle the insecurity and stop those collecting illegal taxes, especially on agricultural produce, the prices would come down.
The ASPAN president said the conference was called to commend the federal government on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) NIRSAL Micro Finance Bank interventions in the agricultural sector, adding that at least 20,000 of its members had benefitted from the bank’s Targeted Credit Facility stimulus package to support households and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, so far over 700,000 households and small businesses have benefitted from the COVID-19 loans, including 20,000 of ASPAN members.
He said, “Over 881,000 Nigerians including over 20,000 thousand ASPAN members have so far benefitted from the N503.3b disbursed by the NIRSAL micro finance bank.”