Agribusiness owners in Oyo State, on Sunday, decried the heavy tax the state government imposed on them which has caused make many young Nigerians to lose interest in venturing into the business.
They lamented that the heavy taxation by the government was hindering their survival in the state.
Speaking through the Group Managing Director of OOK Group, Omolara Svensson at the second edition of the group symposium, held at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan, the farmers said, “Our survival is at risk because of the heavy tax. We contribute a lot and greatly, especially in the area of job creation. The Agribusiness sector is not the type government should watch suffer at all because it will affect all sectors.
“I know that these taxes emanate from different ministries and different agencies and all of that. But we just need the government to listen to us. When say listen to us, I mean not those ones that are political agriculturists or political agropreneur, but for people really in the agribusiness sector.
“The government needs to listen to us, sit us down and let’s have a committee, let’s have a one-on-one talk so that we can bring these complaints in a constructive manner to the government and this will enable the government to attend to these complaints in a constructive manner. The heavy tax is really affecting us.” Svensson lamented.
She said if government at all levels could provide the necessary support for farmers, especially the youths and women in agriculture, it would boost production and improve the standard of living in Nigeria.
In his reaction, the state governor, Seyi Makinde, said his administration was doing everything possible to put a stop to multiple taxation.
Makinde, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Youth and Sports, Kazeem Bolarinwa, said, “Basically you know that government is making sure to curtail multiple taxes in the state and with what was raised in there, and as a progressive government, we would look into it vigorously. At times, these people will even charge them and it won’t get to the government’s account.
“What they actually alleged of is actually paid into the government’s account because the governor frowns about anything that will, in any way, exploit the people of the state,” he stated.
He, therefore, called for a partnership between the state and Federal Government to improve agricultural output so as to expand the state’s economy and nurture young talent in the sector to become prominent agricultural experts in the state.