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Friday, December 8, 2023

Rights Group frays Obiano’s suspension of some taxes in Anambra over abuse by revenue touts



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it is another election gimmick

By Favour Goodness

Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra state had last week suspended certain forms of revenue collection which have been abused by certain groups, but a rights group says the action is another cheap political gimmick to woo electorates in the upcoming Nov. 6 guber poll in the state.

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The Commisioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba
in Public statement said that there was a critical review of revenue collection in the state by the Executive Council, which included collection of daily tolls from hawkers in every street in the state

Others are collection of daily tolls from mobile hawkers everywhere in the state,
collection of daily tolls from cart pushers, collection of revenue on roads especially from moving vehicles and sale of emblems on any road in the state.

Adinuba said the state government had also made adjustments to the process collection of other revenues effective from Aug. 1, 2021, daily operations permit for tricycles known as keke has been reduced from N350 to N250 and N100 for commercial motorcycles popularly known as okada.

“All tickets must be those approved by the Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS), collection of daily operational permit for tricycles (keke) and motorcycles (okada) and other commercial vehicles is also restricted to designated loading and offloading points within approved motor parks and other approved collection/drop off points.

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“Collection of loading and offloading fees can now be collected at only the Point of Loading and the Point of Offloading within a market or motor park/loading bay using AIRS approved tickets.

“In addition, collection of Produce/Commerce/Forestry goods fees is hereby restricted to the Control Post in front of the Metallurgical Training Institute on Owerri Road, Oba in Idemmili South Local Government Area, and the Control Post at Amansea, Awka North Local Government Area; as well as the Uga Junction in Onitsha.

“Finally, the collection of daily toll from all commercial vehicles, including from the sale of government approved emblems, will now be at only Government approved motor oarks/loading bays in the state,” Adinuba said.

Meanwhile, Chairman of a rights group, the Intersociety, Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi told our reporter “A saying goes that ‘you can fool people sometimes but you can’t fool them at all times’. Applying ‘419’ tricks in the art and act of governance is the greatest disservice to the people and democratic process.”

He said Obiano’s 419 tricks had moved from zero point of exhaustion to the point of exhaustion.

“I totally agree with you because another election has come, a successor election for that matter and the Gov is back with his basket load of deceit.

“He is busy shouting against crippling businesses every Monday because of hijacked but suspended or aborted sit-at-home by some renegades within IPOB family, yet he is worst and has done worse than the IPOB renegades.

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“For over four years running, Obiano has let loose on Anambra people and their business and other blue-collar social environments with all kinds of criminal and brigand revenue collectors.

“Dozens have been killed by them and goods and properties worth billions smashed or confiscated or brazenly stolen.

“Yet go and check Anambra’s monthly or yearly IGR profile, the state is one of the least generating IGR states in Nigeria and yet the most collectible IGR state in the country only surpassed by Lagos and Ogun states,” he said.

According to him, this arithmetically means that over 80% of the state’s IGR goes into the private pockets of Obiano and his top and low appointees as well as his cronies including slavish traditional rulers and PGs, Market leaders and top transporters; with which they crookedly invest in high rising hotels, market plazas, shopping malls, student hostels and faculty buildings to buy themselves Honorary Doctorate Degrees and so on.

“Onitsha Main Market is the state’s commercial and revenue hub, yet you can’t access the Market right now by its link roads as Niger Street, Bida Road, Old and New Market Roads have all failed and become impassable,” Umeagbalasi lamented.

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