President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that the Federal Government will look into the issue of illegal tax collections with a view to encouraging more private sector businesses to thrive in the country.
According to a statement issued by Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Femi Adesina, he gave the assurance while receiving the leadership of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria (AUFCDN), led by Alhaji Ali Tahir, at the presidential villa, Abuja on Friday.
President Buhari told them his administration had genuine intentions to eliminate illegal taxes in the country, despite the fact that ‘‘old habits die hard.’’
The President, who was responding to a request by the association on the need for the Federal Government to rein in on the unhealthy practice of illegal tax collections, said: ‘‘I am appalled to learn that these illegal tax collections still persist. Bad habits are not easily dropped.
‘‘But let me assure you that relevant security agencies will be reminded of their duties in preventing these bad practices and safeguarding people like you who go about their legitimate businesses.
‘‘I will take up all your appeals and complaints in due course and together with state governments, we will attend to your proposals.’’
Describing the association as very important and strategic to the nation’s economy, the President told the delegation that ‘‘the merchandise and products you trade in are basic to any economy. The real wealth of this country lies in agriculture and livestock rearing.’’
He, therefore, pledged that his administration would continue to do its best to assist the sector, noting that some of the more advanced countries like Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark built their economies primarily on agriculture and livestock trade.