By Richards Nzemeke
Port Harcourt – The Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria (AUFCDN) Rivers branch, says it is determined to resist illegal tax collection on foodstuffs and animals on Nigeria Highways.
Mr Sunny Opara, Rivers Chairman of the Union, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt on Monday that the Union was soliciting for the cooperation of the military.
He said the military would provide the security during the operation against multiple taxation while the police would arrest the illegal tax collectors on the highways.
NAN reports that some hoodlums usually gang up, mount road blocks on Nigeria highways, collecting illegal levies from truck drivers conveying foodstuffs and animals.
The chairman said it had contributed to the hike in prices of foodstuffs and cattle as the traders passed the bills to the final consumers.
“We must support Federal Government to force down prices of food in our country
“We must defend our members to proudly feed the nation,” he said.
Opara advised traders and drivers not to pay levies to anybody on the nation’s highways, except at the loading and off loading points.
According to Opara, “we shall submit our trucks for Inspection of Agricultural quarantine service approved control posts.”
He solicited the cooperation of the military and police, especially the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in its operation, to stop the illegal levies/taxes.
Opara said the hoodlums used cutlasses, iron and other dangerous weapons to compel the drivers and traders to pay the levies.
He said vehicle windscreens were smashed as means of forcing their victims to pay the illegal levies
Opera said the illegal tax collectors in Oyigbo in Oyigbo Local Government Area and Mbaima in Ahoada West Local Government Area were the most notorious in the illegal activity.
The chairman said that the union was made up of 26 associations involved in foodstuff business, its accessories and cattle trade.
The union was inaugurated on Feb. 8. (NAN).