Multiple Taxation Our Biggest Burden, Say Farmers

Nigerian farmers have called for abolition of multiple taxation on their agricultural produce, describing it as the biggest burden hampering government efforts to stabilise food prices.

The advocacy is coming few days after the federal government announced the withdrawal of withholding tax for manufacturers and commercial farmers which brought the issue to the forefront, prompting discussions about its impact on the agricultural sector.

Over 80% of Nigerian farmers are smaller holders farmers, bringing a question of the likelihood of many not benefiting from the withdrawal of withholding tax.

The farmers said they have long grappled with the burden of multiple taxes. While they are exempted from income tax, they face a complex web of levies as they transport their products from farm to home and local markets. These taxes occur at various points along the supply chain, in the markets, on roads and at local government border checkpoints.

The farmers who spoke to me through the national president of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN ), Arc Kabir Ibrahim stressed that this system of multiple taxation continue to place an undue strain on farmers, affecting their profitability and overall well-being.
Apparently, as they navigate these tax hurdles, their costs increase, making it harder to sustain their livelihoods and contribute to food security.
Although the farmers leader lauded the recent exemption of tax and VAT on supplies of agricultural products and activities by commercial farmers and general agribusiness, describing it is a welcome development.
He also stated that the move is expected to have several positive effects among which are; reduction in expenses which will ultimately translate to lower food prices for encourages investment in agribusiness and commercial farming and enhancement of food security.
However, Ibrahim called for further reforms to simplify the tax system for farmers.
He pointed out that abolishing multiple taxation at road checkpoints and local government borders would be a significant step toward creating a more supportive environment for agriculture.
He said, “Farmers do not pay income tax beyond personal income tax as such but are subjected to multiple taxation as they move their products from farm to their homes and markets nearest to them.⁠
Abolition of multiple taxation on the road and between local government borders and in markets will further help to reduce food prices especially in these trying times”.

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