SWITZERLAND, MAY 25 – The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, on Sunday, praised the Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, for granting tax exemption to farmers, especially smallholder farmers in the State.
The National President of the Association, Arc Kabir Ibrahim spoke on behalf his members to Vanguard newspaper, describing the act as uncommon while commending the governor’s decision.
Expressing his gratitude, Ibrahim said that this gesture unveils a new opportunity for farmers and the sector in Cross River State, and it would boost food production, security and engender wealth creation for Cross Riverians in general.
Over the years, the association has been clamouring for a financial burden ease on farmers across the country to enable them to have a sense of belonging in the engine-room of food production, availability, and sustainability.
Recall that Governor Ayade inaugurated the Cross River Anti-Tax Agency in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, and charged them to exempt small scale businesses and small scale farmers from taxation.
According to the governor, the gesture is one of the COVID-19 palliatives of his administration to protect the vulnerable including smallholder farmers in the state from all forms of tax burden due to their condition.
Ayade also denounced the unnecessary tax burden on the vulnerable population of the state, and charged the Cross River Anti-Tax Agency to “ensure that the poor masses of Cross River State and the small business owners do not come under the harsh hands of the desperate search for money by tax consultants in the state.”
Ibrahim said: “The empathy shown by the Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, on the plight of the Smallholder farmers is uncommon and worth modeling by all Nigerian leaders.
“The All Farmers Association of Nigeria, AFAN, is ardently excited and appreciable of the show of sympathy by Governor Ayade and we commend his sympathetic stance.
Meanwhile, the association urged farmers in the State to reciprocate the gesture by going beyond the current productivity recorded, and devise innovations that would be backed by the government to make citizens in the state food secured from the current farming season.
The farmers were also appreciated for their resilience over the years to produce food for the teeming population in the state despite the odds. He further encouraged them not to be discouraged but should see the Governor’s gesture as a morale booster to do more in the agricultural sector.
The farmers’ boss also assured the farmers of the association’s support in ensuring their welfare and business is not hampered by the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Ibrahim also commended the Governor for the health security measures put in place to keep the State from penetration of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.