Kogi govt probes permanent secretary over bread tax

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, said on Tuesday he did not approve the introduction of bread tax in the state.

The governor disclosed this to State House correspondents after he held a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, a permanent secretary in the state was being investigated on the matter.

Bello said the state government would unmask and punish those behind the controversial law accordingly.

He said: “The incident of bread tax in Kogi State is the most unfortunate infraction that any right-thinking human being would allow to fly.

“When I assumed office on January 27, 2016, I inherited a decayed civil service and I embarked on massive reform of the civil service.

“Before now, the civil servants in the state don’t follow the public service rules or the financial regulations. A similar incident happened within this period of COVID-19 where two permanent secretaries decided to take the laws into their own hands and wrote a letter to worship centres and demanded payment for fumigation of the worship centres despite the fact that it was a service that Kogi State rendered free of charge.

“Those permanent secretaries have since been dismissed from service.

“The particular incident of bread tax is being looked into as I speak. We are investigating those that are behind this. It is evil and it is unaccepted to say the least.

“I have ordered the Head of Service to issue queries to those that are responsible and they will face the law accordingly. This is a state that never locked down over COVID-19 but our economy was badly hit because all our neighbours; 10 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, locked down.”

The Kogi State government had last week introduced a levy on every loaf of bread baked in the state.

The state’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry said in a statement the levy was aimed at improving the internally generated revenue in the state.

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