‘FG loses N31trn to illegal tax collectors’

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The Market Traders Association of Nigeria, MATAN, on Thursday, disclosed that the Federal Government has lost over N31trillion to illegal tax collectors who are extorting Nigerian traders.

It decried multiple taxation by the relevant government agencies, warning that if not curtailed, it would result in geometric increase of the prices of goods and wares at various markets in Nigeria.

Speaking at the “Benefit Scheme Enrolment for Traders” held at Adamasigba Stadium in Ibadan, the Chairman, Project Committee of the Scheme, Ambassador Olakunle Moses Johnson lamented that traders paid a lot of money before their good could get to its destination.

He said: “MATAN initiates enumeration of traders nationwide, we issue them multipurpose identity cards so that government at all levels can have direct access to them irrespective to their status.

“We want to know the number of traders in Nigeria. Trader Money was shared analogue and this makes it difficult for all traders to benefit from it, and it failed to get to the grassroots.” Johnson stated.

In his remark, the Chairman, MATAN Boad of Trustee, Hon. Muhammad Labaran said: “Multiple taxation contribute to high rate of price commodity, we have resolved that the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, should invite all stakeholders in controlling and implementing price control such as Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN; MATAN and National Association of Small Scale and Medium Agriculture Mine and Power, who are critical stakeholders.

“In a meeting, we agreed that we want to eliminate habit of multiple taxation on goods from the factory to consumers, until this is done, Nigerians will continue to suffer.” He declared.

Labaran further bemoaned that majority of traders in urban and rural areas were not properly accommodated by the government due to lack of data.

“We have set up machineries to go from local government to local government to compile all names of the traders for them to have financial assistance and other welfare as a member of this organization.” He added.

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