By Anthony Chukwuemeka Eri
Mr Governor, Prof Charles C. Soludo CFR engaged In a townhall meeting today Wednesday June 29th, 2022 to dialogue extensively with Transport and Market Union Exco Members facilitated by the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Anambra State Internal Revenue Service at Prof Dora Akunyili Women Development Center, Awka.
In his opening remark, Mr Governor stated that Anambra is an A Class state and must remain so, reminding the Union members that they collectively elected him as an employee to serve them with the obligation of bringing positive changes to the state. In that note, no person or group should collect revenue on behalf of the government.
Prof Soludo revealed that since February, NNPC have deposited zero naira into the federation account, stressing that the era of oil boom is over. He reflected during previous administration, when there was heavy influx of oil revenue, Governors never bothered much on taxes collected on behalf of the state but now, times have changed. The present administration is determined to ensure every penny generated from taxes are remitted directly into Government’s account.
Henceforth, when traders and transport operators pay their taxes, they are liable to use Government owned parks without fear of being harassed or molested. Mr Governor stated emphatically that the modus operandi parks are being managed will change. He added that overtime, public parks will be modernised and technology will be gradually introduced to every public parks in the state.
Mr Governor also stated that there will be a digital enforcement team that shall track expired permits. He also forbade caretaker committee members from collecting taxes, stressing that their responsibility is to enforce everybody in the market pays digitally. He gave a sound note of warning to market unions that anyone who collects taxes on behalf of Government will not only be disbanded but also arrested. He further added that Caretaker committees will continue functioning until a formal election is conducted next year.
Prof Soludo estimated in one year’s time, union members will be begin to see benefits of paying taxes digitally. He also informed the audience that he held a “Phone call session” earlier ago with ndi Anambra on ABS to hear public views and perception in regards to his style of governance. He expressed his excitement and promised he will be holding such session once every three months.
The Governor opened his warm hands of embrace to touts also known as “Agberos” to submit themselves and register for training and empowerment. Mr Governor stated that they will all be absolved, some enrolled into the security apparatus and others into beneficial sectors that would improve their lives. He asked for their cooperation as his administration embarks on a journey to migrate into the digital world.