Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello Tuesday described the introduction of bread tax by some government official in the state as evil.
The governor said that he has ordered the Head of Service to the state to issue queries to those that were responsible, adding that they will face the law accordingly.
According to him, “The incident of bread tax in Kogi State is the most unfortunate infraction that any right-thinking human being would allow to fly. When I assumed office on 27th of January 2016, I inherited a decayed civil service and I embarked on massive reform of the civil service.
“Before now, the civil servants in the state don’t follow the public service rules or the financial regulations. A similar incident happened within this period of COVID-19 where two Permanent Secretaries decided to take the laws into their hands and wrote a letter to worship centres, demanding that fumigation of the worship centres be paid for despite the fact that it was a service that Kogi State rendered free of charge and those Permanent Secretaries have since been dismissed form service.
“The particular incident of bread tax is being looked into as I speak, we are investigating those that are behind this. It is evil and it is unaccepted, to say the least.
“I have ordered the Head of Service to issue queries to those that are responsible and they will face the law accordingly. This is a State that never locked down over COVID-19 but our economy was badly hit because all our neighbours; ten State including the Federal Capital Territory locked down.
“If I didn’t lock down to subject my people to hardship, why should I because of tax or hardship impose additional hardship on them by paying bread tax? If there is a way, I can even give tax holiday for some of our businesses, I will do that, not to tax bread.
“So, the Permanent Secretary concerned is facing disciplinary action and we are going to communicate to the world at the end of the day. I never ordered that and I don’t think any senior member of my cabinet will order such.”The Governor announced that his administration had since launched a post COVID-19 relief package of over N1.56 billion for citizens of the State, to cushion the effects of the pandemic.