• Seals off industries for non-tax remittance

Respite has come the way of famers in Esan North East and Esan South East Local Government Areas of Edo State as Sergius Oseasochie Ogun, a member of the National Assembly, in collaboration with SOOF, have organised a five-day seminar in the state.
Tagged Root Crops in industry: Sustainable uptake of edible roots crops as industrial raw materials in Esan land in food, confectionary and bakery industries, the seminar, which has as resource persons, officials of the National Root and Crop Research Institute, NRCRI Umudike, Abia State, will train farmers on the use of cocoa yam and high yield cassava stems among others.
While making his comments, Ogun said, “Today we are going to be having training for farmers and the recourse people are coming from the National Root and Crop Research Institute, Umudike, and for the whole week, they are going to be training farmers on the use of cassava and cocoa yam. We are talking about high yield cassava stems which they will make available to the farmers after the training.”
On the reasons why he decided to embark on the project, Ogun continued, “Almost every forth night there is a bus load of youths leaving for Europe through the desert in search of greener pastures and most of them die in transit so all this is geared towards stopping that trend.
“The idea is to set up something for the cooperatives and create wealth but my real target is actually the youths. If in the next one year they can see what is happening to the farmers and the cooperatives, we shall attract many youths.
“We are talking about high yield cassava which has awesome potentials.”
He explained that glucose syrup, which is used in the confectionary industry, is costing Nigeria a lot of foreign exchange. We import it to the tune of N2 billion annually.
“Meanwhile, we have the potential to manufacture it locally. With this project, we will not be able to service the market but it is a starting point.
“Bakers also don’t have enough flour so they can also use cassava to bake. As soon as the project begins to run, we will get land, build a farm village for the youths, and assist them with tractors. We can make the agricultural sector as glamorous as Oil and Gas,” Ogun added.
Meanwhile the Edo State Internal Revenue Service, EIRS has sealed off 20 establishments in the hospitality industry in the state over alleged non-remittances of consumption taxes to the government.
Victor Okube, director of tax intelligence and enforcement department of the revenue service, who made the disclosure in Benin City, said over 70 hotels, eateries and joints had been identified for enforcement.
He said the affected organisations failed to comply with the Hotels and Event Centres Occupancy and Restaurants Consumption Law of the state, otherwise known as “consumption tax.”
Okube listed the affected establishments to include Royal Kada Fried, De Mariot Hotel Limited, Meridian Lodge, Koso International Hotel, Anna Vinni Bar & Restaurant, Indigo Lounge, Dema Suit and Hotel, Aso Phil Carwash & Bar, Hotel De Eto, Tomline Royal Centre, among others.
He said the enforcement, which is a routine exercise, was to ensure that operators in the hospitality industry comply with the tax law that became operational in 2011 in Edo State, saying the cashless collection and payment policy was still in force.

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