Butchers in Ekiti State on Friday trooped out in their hundreds to protest the imposition of new tax and closure of all abattoirs by Governor Ayo Fayose’s administration.
Government had imposed a tax of N1, 000 on each cow slaughtered in the state, but the butchers refused to pay the new tax which they described as “exorbitant and outrageous.”
Apart from the new tax, which is up from the previous N300 per cow, the butchers also claimed that they are paying veterinary tax, inspection rate and Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) levy.
The angry butchers said the new tax, which according to them, would see each butcher paying at least N26,000 in a month could kill their businesses
Ekiti State government has shut down all abattoirs following the refusal of butchers to pay the new tax.
Tension had mounted since Thursday following a radio announcement by the Commissioner for Agriculture, Kehinde Odebunmi, that all abattoirs would be shut down following the resistance of the butchers to pay the new tax and any butcher caught operating illegal abattoirs is liable to a fine of N20,000.
Led by the Chairman of Butchers Association in Ado Ekiti Local Government, Alhaji Mustapha Kareem, the protesters who held leaves and chanted war songs, stormed the abattoir as early as 6:30am on Friday, but they met a detachment of armed policemen who prevented them from occupying the place.