The Amalgamated Union of Foodstuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria has raised an alarm over multiple taxation from illegal gangs in some parts of the country.
Its National President, Alhaji Taheer Ibrahim, told journalists in Abuja that the multiple taxation had led to hike in prices of some commodities which ought not to be.
He said such practices were severe in Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Taraba, Cross River, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi states.
According to him, there are instances that its members were beaten while transporting goods to different parts of the country.
“We want to inform the world of the widespread harassment of the members of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuffs and Cattle Dealers all over the country by illegal gangs.
“Their mode of operation is that they disguise as private revenue collectors for some state and local governments; their habits are to mount road blocks in the night and demand for taxes and levies from our members under severe duress.
“We have had incidences where our members were beaten to a state of stupor by the illegal gangs; we believe the rampant defiance of good conduct by the gangs who claim to have been outsourced for revenue collection by states and local governments is contrary to all laws of the land.
“The multiple taxation for a truck load of cattle often amount to about N450, 000, which is higher than the transportation cost of N330, 000,” he said.
Ibrahim said that the union had reported the cases to the Inspector General of Police, Ministers of Agriculture and Labour to stop the menace, adding that its members would not hesitate to withdraw their services if nothing was done about the matter.
He said that the lawful conduct of all would ensure that consumer goods were supplied to Nigerians at affordable prices and for the general well being of the country.
Earlier, Mr Emmanuel Ugboaja, Secretary General, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), expressed concern over the matter, urging states and local governments to streamline their revenue collection methods to ensure transparency.
According to him, it is important for the tiers of government to check excesses of illegal road blocks in guise for revenue collection, pledging NLC’s commitment to help to stem the tide.
“There is no need for the tiers of government to pretend that this issue is not happening, the unions have said severally that they are not averse to tax payments, but this must be according to the law.”