Chief Emmanuel Ogunnaike, is the Chairman of Folhope Limited, a company renown for integrated farming which includes livestock production, among others. In this interview by NURUDEEN ALIMI, he lists reasons government should exempt farmers, particularly poultry farmers, from all forms of taxation.
YOU were at the Oyo State House of Assembly’s Speaker’s office where you asked the Speaker alongside other lawmakers to propose a law which would exempt farmers from paying tax. Why do you think farmers should not pay tax?
You see as it is being done in many of the developed nations, farmers are exempted from all forms of taxation. Farming in Nigeria even throughout the World is tedious, stressful and farmers are bound to face challenges in various forms. Therefore, to cushion the effect of problems facing the farmers that is why some goverments are giving tax exemption to genuine and season farmers. Because farmers in Nigeria as of today are facing a lot of problems such as weather hazard like drought and erosion as well as pest invasion, high cost of production and many others. So in order to give them a relief, government should exempt them from all forms of taxation and that is what I am appealing for.
How do you think the government can identify genuine farmers to be exempted from paying tax?
Many farmers belong to various organisations and associations, so they have their own body who can identify them as prominent farmers, season farmers and genuine farmers. The core farmers who take farminmg as their core profession can be easily identified
through their trade organisations.
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You also talked about epileptic power supply as it affect farmers particularly those into poultry buisiness, can you please dwell more on this?
Government should do something about this eratic power supply as well as hight tariff. Otherwise, very soon small scale and medium scale businesses would start to close down. Even right now, many are closing down. The eratic power failure is creating a lot of problems. The high tariff
is unbearable. I do not know of any small or medium scale industry particularly poultry farmers who can survive with current tariff and the eratic power failure we are faciong in this country. The truth must be told at this point.