The Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, has amended the tax imposed on the transportation sector within the state after criticism from Simon Ekpa of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
Soludo reduced the taxes imposed on tricycle, taxi, and shuttle bus operators by about 30 per cent, months after prohibiting tax collection from hawkers, wheelbarrow pushers, and vulcanizers.
The governor announced the update on Wednesday, during a meeting with transport operators and other stakeholders in the sector at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Center in Awka.
Speaking about reviewing the tax, Soludo said: “This government will protect and promote the common man’s interests. To make the system more equitable, we are working on comprehensive tax reform.”
He further stated: “As a progressive government, we are determined to ensure that the poor are not burdened by taxes and that the wealthy pay their fair share. The truth is that you are paying more than your fair share.”
What you need to know
It was gathered that the N15,000 levy placed on tricycle operators has been reduced to N10,000, with the riders now expected to pay N2,500 per week in four instalments.
Taxi operators were handed N12,000 levy, against the initial N17,500, with their weekly payment put at N3,000, same with shuttle bus drivers.
Motorcycle operators received N4,000 monthly levy, which will be paid N1,000 weekly, and mini truck operators are to pay N3,750 weekly.
Also, tax payments for heavy-duty loading and offloading were suspended by the governor to prevent multiple taxations.
Speaking about the tax collection in the state and its impact on government, Soludo said his administration needs the taxes to complete road projects in Anambra.
“I understand what you’re going through; I feel and touch it, and that’s why we’re going all out to declare a total emergency on state roads to alleviate your suffering,” He said.
The governor also stated: “There is no such thing as a society that has developed without people paying taxes. Last year, Anambra’s total tax contribution as revenue was barely N20 billion, which is insufficient for the massive road construction we have begun, let alone other sectors.
“Nobody likes paying taxes, but we’ve started a tax revolution. Our main challenge is being harassed by touts and being taxed multiple times.
“The vast majority of what you pay goes into private pockets and never reaches the government.”
IPOB’s Simon Ekpa criticises Soludo over tax collection
In December 2022, Ekpa condemned the tax regime of Soludo, describing the governor as anti-igbo. He said the governor doesn’t have the interest of persons living and conducting businesses in the state at heart.
Ekpa in a series of tweets wrote: “@CCSoludo anti-igbo is worst than Lagos state government. The Soludo excessive taxation on Ndigbo living and doing business in Anambra must be condemned as Nnewi businessmen threaten to close down businesses. This exactly how they will if we allow 2023.
“The young generation are in charge. The old people has made many bad decision for over 50 years and in 2023 they can’t decide our future again. No Nigeria election in Biafraland is a task that must be done!”