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Group Rejects Soludo Government’s Plan to tax Anambra wheelbarrow pushers, others



By Praise Chinecherem

The Open Alliance for Civil Society and Non State Actors, a pressure group, has rejected Anambra state government’s plans to impose levy on wheelbarrow pushers and allied workers in the State.

The group described the development as insensitive, saying such class of people would rather need palliatives and tax exemptions in the prevailing circumstances in the country.

The state government led by Prof. Chukwuma Soludo had ordered the registration of wheelbarrow pushers, tricycles operators, operators of shuttles, mini buses and allied vehicles in the state.

The move, it was gathered, was to streamline security and revenue collection in the state as well as ensure their contributions to the state’s internally generated revenue.

Reacting to the new policy, the group said it had written to the Commissioner for Transportation and the Chairman, Inland Revenue Service, seeking detail clarification on the propriety of the exercise. 

Coordinator of the group, Prince Chris Azor said the group has been inundated with calls and complaints from its stakeholders demanding to know the reason for what they described as insensitivity of the state government and its handlers.

“The impression they give is that the government is taxing the core poor (wheelbarrow pushers etc). Nigeria and other countries all over the globe are giving tax exemptions, with palliatives and social protection to the core poor affected by COVID-19 and sundry emergencies and general economic downturn. 

“The state government can come up with other innovative strategies to raise revenue, rather than stifling the poor and vulnerable. We therefore, humbly request that the state government come up with convincing explanations within the next one week.”

When contacted, Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Christian Aburime, said the initiative was targeted at streamlining the state revenue collection as well as for security purposes.

He said, “Basically, the main reason is for security purposes. You know that the governor is committed to security in the state. Another reason is to streamline the state revenue collection. You will recall that the governor placed ban on illegal revenue collection and touting. 

“With this registration, we will know all those on the road. Once you enrol, the government will have your complete data and give you a unique identification (sticker) which will also prevent you from being overtaxed or harassed.”

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