The Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria, Kogi state chapter, has asked non-Kogi bakers to register with N500,000 before bringing in their products.
In a letter dated August 15, the association told one of the non-Kogi bakers to show evidence of payment of the registration fee, adding: “Failure to do this, your products are not allowed for sales all over Kogi state.”
An affected baker had told TheCable that the development was not acceptable as they have the rights to do business anywhere in the country.
But Ismail Abubakar, a member of the association said the local chapter has the backing of its constitution which stipulates registration fee from anyone coming from outside the state to do business.
“You must be a member of the association and certain fees must be paid,” he said.
“Yes, we have freedom of inter-state trade. But when you come here, you also abide by the local chapter regulations. We pay tax to the government, and none of these bakers outside of the state are part of it.
“We that are indigenous bakers, we pay tax to the government, we provide employment, and carry out all our businesses within the state. The outside bakers will just come into the state, especially from Abuja, drop their bread, collect their money and go. No payment of revenue to the state, no payment to the local association. Go to all the supermarkets in Lokoja, it’s Abuja bread that you see everywhere.
“This has been affecting our own sales, and we are the ones generating revenue for the state government by paying tax.”
Abubakar added that the association has met with the state’s internal generated revenue agency, and discussed the measures taken against non-Kogi bakers.
Kingsley Fanwo, the state’s commissioner for information, was not reachable for comments at the time of filing this report.