Abia state government has suspended two commissioners over imposition of illegal levies on residents and businessmen in Aba, the commercial hub of the state.
The suspended commissioners are Emesobum Ikechukwu of Transport Ministry and his Commerce and Industry counterpart, Chisom Nwamuo.
In a statement signed on behalf of the state government by Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Eze Chikamnayo and repeatedly aired on the Abia state radio, the Emesobum and Nwanmuo were directed to proceed on indefinite suspension immediately.
The statement which condemned the rate at which hoodlums hired by parastatals of the two Ministries supervised by the two suspended Commissioners, harass and intimidate residents in the guise of revenue collection, directed that henceforth all revenues for the state government would be collected by the state Board of Internal Revenue.
Sources told our correspondent that he Commissioners’ problem started last week Friday when market women in Aba embarked on a street protest to demonstrate against the imposition of multiple levies and taxes on them by government agencies.
The suspended Commissioners were among the five Commissioners, led by counterpart in charge of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Emma Nwabuko who held a meeting with some interest groups at the Aba Town Hall where they were said to have announced the banning of multiple taxation in all markets and motor unions in Aba.
However, as the meeting was going on Monday under tight security, some market women were seen at the gate of the venue carrying placards against the imposition of taxes and said they would not pay them.
Recall that Aba business community has over the years lamented the high rate of imposition of multiple taxation by the state government, particularly the use of hoodlums who harass and intimidate residents under the guise of revenue collection.