Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
The All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Sokoto State chapter, has urged the state government to introduce a commodity levy, which it stated is capable of generating N2 billion monthly revenue for the state.
The Chairman of the state chapter of the association, Alhaji Jamilu Sanusi, stated this during a courtesy visit to the state Governor, Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, at the Government House in Sokoto.
Sanusi explained that the state produces a lot of agricultural products such as onions, garlic, grains, and sesame among others, and if properly harnessed through the revitalisation of the commodity board, the state has the potential to improve its economy through levy collection on farm produce.
According to him, levies on onion bags, garlic, grains, sesame and other farm produce would attract huge revenue to the state.
“With a viable commodity board, the state stands a chance to access the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) stabilisation fund and other supporting windows,” he said.
He noted that the producers of these products paid commodity levies to other states while transporting them for sale, but leave the state where they are produced with nothing.
The AFAN chairman advised the state government to come up with modalities in the agricultural value chain and other sectors of the economy with a view to placing the state on an equal footing with other states in the country for socio-economic development.
Sanusi also urged the state government to establish a soil laboratory for farmers to have good knowledge of their farm soil conditions, nutrient needs and other inputs for maximum harvest.
He maintained that with the present federal government’s decision on removal of fuel subsidy, the state must extend palliatives to farmers through supply of solar powered water pumping machines and provision of organic inputs in a bid to achieving the desired objectives.
While responding, the state Governor, Aliyu Sokoto, pledged to establish the soil laboratory and revive the commodity board.
He said government would engage experts to look into the suggestions, noting that his administration was always ready to partner groups and development partners that have direct bearing on development of the state.
The governor further stated that agriculture is one of the top agenda of his administration, saying he would collaborate with AFAN to guarantee food security in the state.