Home Industries Anambra traders lament new tax regime

Anambra traders lament new tax regime

by Goddie Ofose
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TRADERS at various markets in Anambra State, particularly Eke Awka market in Awka South Local Government Area are lamenting the new tax regime of the governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo.

According to the traders, there is no need for them to be forced to pay multiple taxes and levies daily. Our correspondent gathered that shop owners in the markets are being taxed as much as N14,200 while hawkers are randomly forced to pay N200 at various times and places daily

A breakdown of the levy includes a stallage fee of N4,800, market development fee of N2,400, market traders fee of N3,000, pollution/sanitation fee of N2,000, biometric market registration of N700, and market operation fee of N1,300.

The governor of the state, Soludo, had during a meeting with parks and market executives in the state disclosed the introduction of this new tax regime. He said the move was because the era of revenue generation through the sale of crude oil was gradually phasing out.

According to traders in the market, they were informed of the new development last week Thursday and were asked to pay up between Tuesday to Friday.

Speaking to journalists in Awka, a former chairman of Eke Awka Market, Emeka Onyemaechi, disclosed that prior to this the state government has banned all cash payments of revenue from July 1.

However, people claiming to be government officials invaded the market recently demanding cash payments without any information from the government.

He said, “Last week Thursday I was inside my shop when some people, claiming to be government revenue officials announced that we should pay N14,200 for our stallage and other fees from Tuesday.

“On Friday, I went to the Anambra State Board of Internal Revenue to find out the true position and the information I got was that on Tuesday, they would be coming to capture all shops in the market, and everybody will pay N2,000 for the capturing and after that government will give the account details where traders will pay their fees.

“Unfortunately, on Tuesday that was a holiday, they started the capturing and collection of the N14,200. They forced people to the market, where over 20 POS terminals were stationed and people without cash were asked to use their ATMs to pay. After that I called the revenue office again and complained, they said we should pay.”

He urged the state government to address the issue of hiring private persons to collect revenue for it. According to him, the government should have passed a notice to the market leaders about the development if the payment originated from the government.

He lamented that despite all the taxes and levies, some people are still extorting money from the hawkers, adding that whoever argues with them would be beaten to a stupor.

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