Fayose killing Ek­iti econ­omy with taxes – APC

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Doyin Ade­busuyi, Ado Ek­iti

The All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC) in Ek­iti State has ac­cused the state gover­nor, Ay­o­dele Fayose, of killing the state econ­omy through im­po­si­tion of what it called out­ra­geous taxes and force­ful clo­sure of busi­ness premises.

The party said the “forced’’ clo­sure of busi­nesses over al­leged re­fusal to pay taxes would fur­ther com­pound the state’s eco­nomic woes.

Some traders, mostly Ig­bos, had on Tues­day taken to the streets in Ado Ek­iti to protest what they called clo­sure of over 100 shops be­long­ing to them by of­fi­cials of the state Board of In­ter­nal Rev­enue (BIR) over non-pay­ment of taxes.

Spokesman of the traders and chair­man of Sec­re­tar­iat Road Traders As­so­ci­a­tion, Uchenna Madunagu, had claimed that the BIR im­posed taxes ranged be­tween N75,000 and N180,000 ex­pected to be paid by the traders.

The APC, in a state­ment by its pub­lic­ity sec­re­tary, Taiwo Olatu­bo­sun, said the gover­nor’s ac­tion was a wrong sig­nal to in­vestors who may be will­ing to do busi­ness in the state and also a dis­in­cen­tive to lo­cal busi­ness op­er­a­tors.

It said the taxes im­posed on busi­ness own­ers were too harsh, out­ra­geous and ex­ploita­tive, urg­ing the gover­nor to re­scind his de­ci­sion.

The state­ment added, “the pre­vail­ing eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion in the coun­try doesn’t sup­port high taxes. Lock­ing out traders, shop and busi­ness own­ers, with­out al­low­ing them op­por­tu­nity to re­move their valu­ables is de­grad­ing, wicked, un­godly and in­hu­man.

“The task­force op­er­a­tives, work­ing with some thugs re­fused the busi­ness own­ers along Bank Road to take the keys to their homes, cash, cheque books, pass­books and other doc­u­ments as they were locked in­side. Two banks were il­le­gally locked up against the cus­tomers and work­ers, thereby caus­ing panic.

“In­creas­ing taxes on in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses by al­most 500 per cent in breach of the agree­ment with the lo­cal busi­ness op­er­a­tors in a place like Ek­iti will kill the econ­omy that is al­ready weak, the party said.

Olatun­bo­sun de­scribed as reck­less Fayose’s han­dling of the state econ­omy, say­ing that in­stead of the gover­nor ful­fill­ing his prom­ises as “friend of the masses”, he was turn­ing the cud­gel against the peo­ple,” he de­ceived to get their votes”.

“Im­po­si­tion of levies in pub­lic schools, re-in­tro­duc­tion of school fees and stop­page of WAEC fees for fi­nal year stu­dents in pub­lic sec­ondary schools are all in­tended to take ed­u­ca­tion out of the reach of the poor,” he said.

How­ever, the spe­cial ad­viser to the gover­nor on In­ter­nal Rev­enue and Tax Mat­ters, Ropo Ogun­jobi, said: “Those traders are telling lies. The N5,500 they are talk­ing about is not from this of­fice, be­cause what we are talk­ing about now is the Per­sonal In­come Tax. We have as­sessed them, they should go and col­lect the as­sess­ment no­tice and go to the bank and pay their taxes.”

Pic NAN

Con­trollerGen­eral, Nige­rian Pris­ons Ser­vice, Dr Pe­ter Ekpendu (left) and Com­man­dant, Pris­ons Armed Squad Train­ing School, Has­san Shema, re­views a pa­rade dur­ing the pass­ing out pa­rade of 6th Ba­sic Re­cruit Course of the ser­vice, in Ow­erri yes­ter­day.

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