Some farmers in Nasarawa State have kicked against a N30,000 levy to decontaminate farms and business places in Karu Local Government Area.
The proposal has been greeted with indignation by business owners who say instead of bringing succour to businesses affected by the COVID-19 lockdown, the government decided to make money out of them. Hotels, poultry farms and businesses accessed by the public were cited in the May 18, circular signed by an Environmental Health Officer, with no name, and distributed by authorities of Karu Local Government Area, demanding that they pay the decontamination levy.
A farm manager who complained of poor sales, owing to the lockdown said it was “unreasonable for government to be pressing businesses at this time” in reference to the N30,000 fumigation fee. Another business owner who decried the levy said: “This is the time for us to feel the impact of government helping and shoring us and not to be forcing businesses to close.”
An official of the council confirmed the circular to journalists, but asked not to be named, as he was not authorises to speak on the matter.
“The council chairman has directed that all business premises accessed by members of the public be immediately decontaminated before they are reopened to the public.
“Inline with this directive, your organisation is hereby requested to within two days from the date of this notice decontaminate your premises for a prescribed fee of N30,000 in accordance with Karu Local government Council bye-laws (2018).You are advised to comply with the time specified above in the interest of public health and to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.”