The Plateau State Commissioner for Ministry of Agriculture has dared the Federal Joint Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Against Multiple Taxes and Levies along Nigerian High Ways, stating that the state government is not aware of the ban order in plateau State.
This was confirmed to our correspondent in Jos by the Ministry that the Ministry of Agriculture is yet to receive an official communication through the office of federal government programs on enforcement agencies.
The Plateau State Chapter Chairman, Mr Yusuf Samuel Hamman has requested the Plateau state Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs. Linda Barau to retract some of her public comment to tarnished the agency’s name in Jos.
Hamman made this disclosure during an interview with journalists at the NUJ, Plateau state council secretariat following the recent harassment and intimidation coming from the office of the Plateau government.
He decried that Plateau state government has refused to dismantle all roadblocks in the 17 LGAs as the collection of these fees, levies and taxes continue even with its abolishment by the Federal Government out rightly.
Mr. Hamman disclosed that, the ban on the collection of levies /taxes on Agricultural produce and Agro-allied products on the highway are to help in mitigating and reducing high rate of inflation in the country.
He also stated that the state Commissioner and other federal government agencies in the state were adequately informed on the development yet the State Government has remained adamant in obeying the directive.
He stated thus; “We have written to the Governor of Plateau State, Rt Hon Simon Bako Lalong with the Commissioner of Police plateau state command who are responsible for enforcing the law but describe us as illegal
He called on the Federal Ministry of Agriculture to as a matter of time and urgency communicate to plateau state government of their existence here in the state.
The Honourable Commissioner for Agriculture, Mrs Linda Barau however refuted the allegations that she refused to accept the joint enforcement on multiple taxes and levies in Plateau State that the association could not transmit letter of communication through the office of the Minister of Agriculture.
She said; “I am not aware of receiving a letter from federal government to that effect, so we learnt that they are going about recruiting people and they paid 16,000 each.
“We cannot stop them but all we needed from them is clarification because we already have somebody doing the collection on highways “, she explained.
The commissioner emphasized that the started working with the governor directly without communicating their letter to state ministry of agriculture.
She also accused the agency of commencing training of ad-hoc staff without following the right channel of communication.
She blamed the agency over the ongoing recruitment of non-professionals without partnering with the ministry of agriculture in the field getting professional because the exercise involves movement of foods and animals on highways.
“We want to take its very serious by calling on any agencies coming to operate in the state to do the needful by partnering with the ministry in the area of recruitment of professionals and qualify persons to reduce risk and disaster.
The Director in Charge of Agriculture services, Mrs. Helen Gontur expressed dismay that the agency lack human cooperation which causes the delay in the process.
According to her, the state ministry is not having problem with them coming to enforce the monitoring program but they need to key into the state
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture has written to Inspector General of Police with adequate information on the collection and enforcement ,monitoring of taxes/levies on highways ,meanwhile, the police was not aware of the existing of such an agency in Plateau state, she explain.
We wonder where this authority is coming from so as the ministry in charge we are seeking for more clarification from them to stop and do the right thing.