Fayose killing Ekiti economy with taxes – APC
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.”
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.