Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba
Abia State government has said it will from Wednesday, November 29, 2023 commence moves to enforce the recovery of its 2023 statutory annual levies across the state, particularly from traders at the state’s various markets and the transportation sector.
In a letter addressed to all security agencies in the state dated November 20, 2023 which was signed by Prof Ogbonna Udochukwu, the executive chairman of the Abia State Board of Internal Revenue, which was obtained by newscritic.com.ng the state government noted that recovery efforts will focus mainly on Markets and the Transportation sector.
In the letter entitled “Notification Of Commencement Of Statutory Revenue Enforcement In Markets And Transport Sector” the revenue boss said the essence of writing to the security agencies is to seek their coorperation and support in the enforcement efforts.
“The essence of the communication is to seek your cooperation and support in the discharge of the assignment, and most importantly we humbly request you to inform your relevant Divisions and Officers across the state accordingly.
Newscritic.com.ng reports that the decision to embark on the enforcement exercise, resulted from the failure of the defaulters to heed all earlier efforts made by the authorities for them to pay.
As at the time of reporting on Friday November 24, 2023, it was only at Eziukwu road market out of the hordes of markets in Aba that the revenue collection efforts have yielded positive results, with clear records of payments made and the outstanding.
However, the revenue collection efforts have remained at an abysmal level at such other markets as Ariaria International, Ngwa Road Market, Alaoji, Ekeoha Shopping Mall, Goodmorning Market and Mosque/ Etchie/ Nsulu Roads markets.
Last week, while on a familiarization and Assessment tour of markets in Aba, the Chairman of All Chairmen of Aba Markets, Sir Alphonsus Udeigbo frowned at the uncoporative attitude of both the traders and their various leaderships towards the payments of the statutory levies.
At Mosque /Etchie/ Nsulu Road Market, the coordinating Chairman of all Aba markets was informed by the leadership about how some elements particularly from Etchie road market have been sabotaging the revenue collection efforts.
The familiarization team which has at Wednesday November 22, 2023 visited most of the markets with a view to ascertaining their various needs and challenges, has been informed about the urgent need for the government to reopen all blocked access roads to the markets, particularly the all important Ngwa Road by East road.
Newscritic.com.ng reports that part of the measures expected to be taken by the government in the enforcement exercise is the sealing of the business premises of defaulters, to be opened after payments and possible penalties.