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‘People Are Suffering’- APC Chieftain Demands Enugu’s Taxation Review

The Enugu State Coordinator of the APC National Coalition for Good Governance, Mr Ebubeagu Okafor, Tuesday, advised the government of Enugu State to review its tax regime to reduce the pains residents of the state are currently passing through.

Okafor, who spoke in Enugu, said the rate of taxation was high, urging the government to widen its revenue channels rather than exploiting the residents through over taxation.

He, however, commended the state government for automating its taxation regime, adding that the people want to have positive impacts of the taxes they are paying.

According to him, “People want the government to account for such taxation through dividends of democracy.”

He also condemned the cattle ranching scheme of the state government, which was recently signed into law. He berated the state House of Assembly for not conducting public hearing on the scheme before it was signed into law.

On demolition exercises ongoing in some parts of the state, Okafor said, “It should be done with human face. For instance, the demolition of Ogige Market at Nsukka is germane, but there ought to be compensation and resettlement of the traders and landlords. It is painful, but some landlords extended their limits by building shops where it should not be.”

The state Commissioner for Information, Aka Eze Aka, in an interview, denied that the state imposed extra taxation on the people.

He said, “Taxation is not a comfortable thing, but Enugu never increased taxes on the people. It only expanded the taxation net as contained in the law. Past administrations might have overlooked the tax areas which this administration is exploring, but it is for the benefit of the people.”

On the demolition at Ogige Market, Commissioner Eze said, “The information about the demolition was circulated last October, but the traders and landlords ignored it. There was also interface with them. The truth is that some persons erected illegal structures in the market. If the demolition is not carried out now, there will come a time when that road will be impassable. The demolition is painful, but people will appreciate it later.”

THE WHISTLER reports that although Ogige Market is yet to be demolished, shop owners had evacuated the market, removing valuable components of their shops, including roofs and doors, in the process.

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