The Nigerian Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) has inaugurated a committee to implement the National Transit Insurance Scheme (NATIS) and National Anti-Multiple Taxation Scheme (NAMTAXS) introduced to provide insurance cover against losses in the haulage process.
NAIC inaugurated the implementation committees on Thursday in Abuja. The committee is made up of five subcommittees on welfare, labour, media, finance and security.
Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of NAIC, Folashade Joseph, who was represented at the event by the agency’s Director of Operations, Bashir Babalola, said insecurity, poor state of roads and compromising activities of some transporters and freighters had, over the years, impacted negatively on the safety and ease of moving goods around the country.
She said NAMTAXS would confront the problems by providing indemnification against hazards which lead to hospitalization, injury or even death.
“We want to assure you that NAIC is committed to the success of the two schemes, NATIS and NAMTAX, and is ready to work with all parties involved.”
She said the implementation of the scheme would require the support of the government at all levels, including the armed forces, the police and all other security agencies.
She urged the committee members to regard their tasks as a national assignment being undertaken in the best interest of the economy.
Also speaking at the event, the Director of Finance and Accounts at the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Salawu Ozigi, praised NAIC for introducing the schemes.
He said difficulties faced in transporting products, materials and equipment, especially agricultural products contribute to the high cost of food in the country.
“The prices of food commodities are high because of the malpractices in the haulage of the items from the point of production to the markets and parks,’’ he said.
Mr Ozigi said between Calabar in the South-south and Sokoto in the North-west, there are 96 checkpoints where people pay levies that eventually reflect in the prices of the goods.
He expressed hope that NATIS and NAMTAX would force down prices and make food commodities affordable for Nigerians.“We need to consider this to mitigate the risk for transporters of agricultural commodities as well as bring down the prices of goods for every Nigerian,’’ he said.
Kingley Chikezie of the National Association of Agricultural Product Dealers (NAAPD) said the association signed an MoU with ALGON on July 24.
He said the implementation committee would ensure that multiple taxes along the Nigerian highways are eradicated. He added that NAAPD has set up a monitoring and compliance team to work with the police to achieve the committee’s mandate.
The NAIC chief executive said “many lives had been lost, health had been compromised and businesses had failed due to the problems in the haulage of commodities.”
She said the new schemes would provide mandatory protection for all goods in transit nationwide in the form of insurance.