President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that the federal government would look into the issue of illegal tax collections with a view to encourage more private sector businesses to thrive in the country.
Buhari, who made the pledge on Friday, while receiving the leadership of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuff and Cattle Dealers Association of Nigeria (AUFCDN) led by Alhaji Ali Tahir, in the State House, Abuja, said that his administration has genuine intentions to eliminate illegal taxes in the country.
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.’’
Buhari continued: “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 afeguarding 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 said: ‘‘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 the present administration would continue to do its best to assist the sector, noting that some of the advanced countries like Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and Denmark built their economies primarily on agriculture and livestock trade.
On the 2019 elections, the President welcomed the associations’ support for his administration, recalling that they also demonstrated their solidarity for his candidacy in the build-up to the 2015 elections.
Earlier, the General Secretary of the union, Alhaji Ahmed Alarama, promised that his members would work for the re-election of the President ‘because of the great strides his administration has taken to put the country on the path of sustainable growth’’.