Anambra State governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo has said that the new tax regime being introduced in the state would bring about sanity and accountability in the system. The governor’s explanation came on the heels of protests by tricycle operators over what they described as exorbitant taxes and levies imposed on them by the state government.
However, officials of the state government have been explaining reasons behind the recent policy, arguing that the Soludo administration meant well for the people. Press secretary to the governor, Mr. Christian Aburime observed that over the years, the state had suffered leakages and largely unaccountable system of tax remittances to the state government.
According to him, the resultant effect was the inability of the state to generate enough internally generated revenue to undertake capital projects that would impact positively on the lives of the people.
Aburime, in a statement in Awka said: “Poised to deliver on his mandate and working to beat ‘measured’ time, the Governor Chukwuma Soludo-led administration has continued to reel out innovative measures to make life more decent and meaningful for the greater Anambra public.
“In a world of constant drive for economic and fiscal efficiency, individuals and corporations usually seek beforehand, the opinion of relevant tax authorities on the tax incidence and liabilities applicable to specific transactions or commercial arrangements.
“This is part of where Governor Soludo is headed; to enthrone a decent system in Anambra State where Ndi Anambra are the ultimate beneficiaries. Just like any other reforms, it comes with challenges and sacrifices”. He said that after embarking on due consultations with relevant stakeholders, the state government introduced what was considered as minimal levy for tricycle operators (keke) and shuttle buses, a move, he added, would eventually become beneficial to all actors. He added: “After a careful thought process, Anambra State government asked keke riders to start paying fifteen thousand (15,000) naira on monthly basis.
“This amount equals about six hundred (600) naira, daily for twenty five (25) days. Five (5) percent of the sum will still go to the keke union after collection for the month. Similar thing is applicable for operators of shuttle buses who agreed to pay twenty five thousand (25,000) naira monthly.
“According to the new rate, motorcycle (okada) operators would be paying N300 daily at N7, 500 monthly, N21,000 with a discount of N1,500 for one quarter or N40,500 with a discount of N4, 500 for half a year.
“Keke riders, on the other hand, would be paying N600 daily at the cost of N15,000 monthly, or N42,000 with a discount of N3,000 for one quarter or N81, 000 with a discount of N9,000 for half a year.
“Similarly, daily payment for shuttle/buses is N1,000 at the rate of N25, 000 monthly or N70,000 with a discount of N5, 000 for one quarter or N135,000 with a discount of N15, 000 for half a year. For taxi drivers, the daily rate is N700 or N17,500 for one month. They have the option of paying N49,000 quarterly with a discount of N3,500 and N94, 500 with a discount of N11, 000 for half a year.
“The rate of N1,200 daily is for township bus operators at the cost of N30,000 for one month, N84,000 with a discount of N6,000 for one quarter and N162,000 with a discount of N18,000 for half a year. Pick up Van daily fee is N1,000 at the cost of N25,000 for one month, N70,000 with a discount of N5,000 for one quarter and N135,000 with a discount of N15,000 for half a year. All thesee are applicable in all government-owned parks in the state.
“On the part of government, part of the proceeds of the tax will be used for the management of different government approved parks and building of roads, provision of affordable health care systems, education and other social infrastructural projects in the state”.
He said that it is on record that before now, the commuters pay more than the amount they are being asked to pay, adding that in most cases, on daily basis, the monies end up in private pockets, comprising of touts and other proxy, thereby making revenues accruable to government insignificantly low.
He added that the blockage of the leakages through divergent illegal windows is part of what Professor Soludo is tirelessly working to plug so as to eliminate touting system across Anambra state.
“The era of multiple levies, indiscriminate collection of State revenue, roadblocks and personal enrichment by several interest parties/vested interest halve come to an end.
“Government, in all sincerity cannot continue, hands akimbo and allow touts and illegal revenue collectors to continue ripping the state off of its legitimate earnings.
“Against this backdrop, all government levies’ and taxes’ collection must now be done digitally with electronic receipts issued. Enforcement will soon commence, during which, electronic sticker- a quick response which will employ the use of USSD, will be equally deployed.
“Governor Soludo wants the best for the people of the state and it is therefore incumbent on Ndi Anambra to give his government full support and cooperation in the march to building a liveable and prosperous state.
“Operators in Anambra transport sector should avoid making payments to individuals. Anambra state revenues can only be paid to banks and their designate agents and insist on being receipted”, he stated.