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Soludo Speaks On Criticism Over Taxation

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, has opened up concerning the new tax regime in the state stressing that the goal is not to hurt anyone but rather to bring about sanity and accountability in the system.

The governor made this known as he reacted to the protests trailing the development as many described the taxes as harsh.

Press secretary to the governor, Christian Aburime in a statement stated that over the years, the state had experienced leakages and largely unaccountable system of tax remittances to the state government, adding that the resultant effect was the inability of the state to get enough internally generated revenue to carryout capital projects that would impact positively on the lives of the people.

Aburime said: “Poised to deliver on his mandate and working to beat ‘measured’ time, the Governor Chukwuma Soludo-led administration has continued to reel out innovative measures to make life more decent and meaningful for the greater Anambra publics.

“In a world of constant drive for economic and fiscal efficiency, individuals and corporations usually seek beforehand, the opinion of relevant tax authorities on the tax incidence and liabilities applicable to specific transactions or commercial arrangements. This is part of where Governor Soludo is headed; to enthrone a decent system in Anambra State where Ndi Anambra are the ultimate beneficiaries. Just like any other reforms, It comes with challenges and sacrifices.”

He stated that after due consultations with relevant stakeholders, the state government introduced what was considered a minimal levy for tricycle operators (keke) and shuttle buses, a move, he added, would eventually be impactful to all stakeholders.

He added, “After careful thought process, Anambra State government asked keke riders to start N15, 000 naira on monthly basis. This amount equals about six hundred (600) naira, daily for twenty five (25) days. Five (5) percent of the sum will still go to the keke union after collection for the month. Similar thing is applicable for operators of shuttle buses who agreed to pay twenty five thousand (25,000) naira monthly.

“According to the new rate, motorcycle (Okada) operators would be paying N300 daily at N7, 500 monthly, N21,000 with a discount of N1,500 for one quarter or N40,500 with a discount of N4, 500 for half a year.
“Keke riders, on the other hand, would be paying N600 daily at the cost of N15, 000 monthly, or N42,000 with a discount of N3,000 for one quarter or N81, 000 with a discount of N9,000 for half a year.

“Similarly, daily payment for shuttle/buses is N1, 000 at the rate of N25, 000 monthly or N70,000 with a discount of N5, 000 for one quarter or N135,000 with a discount of N15, 000 for half a year. For Taxi drivers, the daily rate is N700 or N17, 500 for one month. They have the option of paying N49,000 quarterly with a discount of N3,500 while N94, 500 with a discount of N11, 000 is for half a year.

“The rate of N1, 200 daily is for township bus operators at the cost of N30,000 for one month, N84,000 with a discount of N6,000 for one quarter, and N162,000 with a discount of N18,000 for half a year. Pick up Van daily fee is N1, 000 at the cost of N25,000 for one month, N70,000 with a discount of N5,000 for one quarter, and N135,000 with a discount of N15,000 for half a year. All these are applicable in all government-owned parks in the state.

“On the part of the government, part of the proceeds of the tax will be used for the management of different government-approved parks and building roads, provision of affordable health care systems, education, and other social infrastructural projects in the state.

“The era of multiple levies, indiscriminate collection of State revenue, roadblocks, and personal enrichment by several interest parties/vested interest have come to an end.

“Government, in all sincerity cannot continue hands akimbo and allow touts and illegal revenue collectors to continue ripping the state off of its legitimate earnings. Against this backdrop, all government levies and taxes collection must now be done digitally with electronic receipts issued. Enforcement will soon commence, during which, an electronic sticker- a quick response that will employ the use of USSD, will be equally deployed.

“Governor Soludo wants the best for the people of the state and it is therefore incumbent on Ndi Anambra to give his government full support and cooperation in the march to building a livable and prosperous state. Operators in the Anambra transport sector should avoid making payments to individuals. Anambra state revenues can only be paid to banks and their designated agents and insist on being receipted.”

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