Food scarcity looms in the country, especially in the South East, as the Federated Foodstuff Dealers Association of Nigeria (FFDAN) has announced its decision to seize evacuation of farm produce and other food items from Benue State.
National President of the association, Prince Christian Afiaunwu, told newsmen in Enugu, at the weekend, that their members have had to bear numerous problems especially in Benue, leading to loss of lives and occasional injuries.
“In Benue state, the kind of levies imposed on our members are so much that we can’t bear it any longer.
“In 2013, we had an understanding with the Benue state government that the amount we have to pay as levy for a lorry load of goods is N17,500.
“It was also agreed that this money should be paid at the point of loading.
“Unfortunately, since 2015, the present government flouted the agreement claiming that they were not the ones we negotiated with.
“What they now do is that, even if you buy the goods from another state, you must pay N62,500 once you get to the first boundary in Benue,” he disclosed.
Afiaunwu recalled that following series of complaints from the association, the Federal Government mandated all states to build a functional control post where veterinary and other checks are carried out.
He however, regretted that there are over 40 points in Benue state alone, where levies are collected.
The traders accused some state government officials of being behind the ungodly and illegal activities of thugs in the state.
“We want Nigeria to know that whatsoever is happening in Benue state is caused by the government.
“We are also calling for the Federal Government’s intervention because it is not our wish that the people should suffer,” the group stated.