Abeokuta — The Ogun State Government has harmonised various tolls and levies, which manufacturers and transporters operating in the state pay to different ministries for ease of business.
The Ministries include Commerce and Industry, Environment, Forestry and Agriculture, which collect levies on produce, logs and timbers, raw materials, finished goods and industrial wastes.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), truck and trailer drivers are among those who have consistently complained about multiple taxes by various government agencies.
As a result of the harmonisation, the State Government now approves and issues customised stickers to manufacturers and transporters as a way of curbing any multiple dues.
Speaking on the development, the Commissioner for Finance, Adewale Oshinowo, declared that proper documentation and easy payment process must be done for both corporate bodies and individuals. This will save huge funds wasted to multiple toll collection and taxes as government has created a one-stop shop for all fees and charges by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
Oshinowo explained that the cumbersome nature of the existing payment methods where tax payers would pay to each ministry separately at numerous toll points was unconventional and "not helping business to thrive.
Consequently, the new toll regime would have designated points across the 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas of the State."
He said arrangements had been made for corporate organisations that might want to pay quarterly, biannually or annually.
"Ogun State is now the preferred choice for business location, so we cannot afford to do things the old way. The new system of toll payment will further ease the movement of raw materials and finished products from and into the State without delay at toll points," the Commissioner said.
He added, "Officers from the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, Forestry, and Commerce are presently on evaluation tour to all the existing toll points across the State. Their report will be used in identifying the points for the new harmonised system."