By ADEYEMI ADELEYE
LAGOS- The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State has called on Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to scrap multiple taxes and levies on food markets to reduce the suffering of ordinary residents.
The PDP Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr Hakeem Amode, who made the call in a statement on Monday in Lagos, said the economic burdens on the poor had increased due to taxes on food and fruits.
Amode, who was reacting to Sanwo-Olu’s recent statement that Lagos residents consumed N4.5 billion worth of food daily, said the development and high cost of food items should raise a concern among the citizens.
The PDP’s spokesman decried that Lagos food market was strictly controlled and taxed.
“The state currently runs a monopolistic food market where free trade is not allowed and those allowed to trade paid different categories of taxes to the markets’ authorities.
“Sadly, many fresh farm products that are mostly displayed on weekends are not exempted from the taxes and levies which have made food prices in the state unaffordable to common man.
“An individual cannot buy food items in bulk and bring them for sale to consumers in the state without going through the cult-like system the state has put in place and they determine the prices these food items are sold to the detriment of the good people of the state.”
While describing the APC-led government in the state as lacking human feelings, he urged electorate to vote the ruling party out of power in 2023 general elections.
According to him, APC must be replaced with people-oriented government, which PDP and its candidate Dr Abdulazeez Olajide Adediran represents, to bring succour to the sufferings of the people of the state.
“A state like Lagos with a purchasing power of N4.5bn daily (according to the governor) is supposed to have the cheapest food market in the federation.
“In a people’s welfare oriented market structure, where the supplier is guaranteed of sales, prices are low,” he added.
According to him, on the other hand, the government has the ability to attract bulk food products through a subsidised transportation means to alleviate the hunger many residents face.
Amode said: “The challenges faced on a daily basis by the commercial truck operators in transporting food items to the state is sickening, not to talk of the harassments and extortions.
“All the road enforcement agencies are after these trucks and to make matters worse, the local government-backed touts also levy them.
“Consequently, these have adverse effects on the prices individuals pay from their meagre income to feed in the state where food are not supposed to be a problem due to the purchasing power of the people.”
He assured residents that if PDP was voted into power, it would make them enjoy better living standards in the state.
Amode said that PDP programmes and policies were people-oriented and had youths as its key focus due to their population, mind-set and the solution they proffered. (NAN)