Soludo Suspends Tax Payment For Heavy-Duty Vehicles ln Anambra
The Governor of Anambra State, Chukwuma Soludo, has suspended the taxes and rates paid by heavy-duty trucks for loading and unloading goods in the state.
He said that there was a fundamental problem with the way and manner in which truck drivers were being taxed in the state and therefore ordered that no money should be collected from them till the issues were rectified.
Soludo announced the new development on Wednesday at Prof. Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Centre, Awka, the state capital during a meeting with the transporters.
The governor also announced the reduction of taxes paid by commercial tricycle and motorcycle operators popularly known as Keke NAPEP and Okada respectively; and as well, slashed the same for shuttle bus drivers.
Before the development, there had been a public outcry against heavy taxation in the state, especially amongst tricycle, shuttle bus and heavy-duty truck operators.
The situation had caused protests by the operators at various times across the length and breadth of the state, especially in the Onitsha areas.
But on Wednesday, the governor approved weekly payment of taxes and levies by commercial Keke and shuttle bus operators in the state which showed about a 30 per cent reduction.
“We’ll reduce the tax for Keke NAPEP from N15,000 to N10,000. Then, it can be broken into four. This means you can pay N2,500 per week. The taxi was N17,500 or something like that. We’ll get it down to N12,000 per month which is N3,000 per week.
“Shuttle buses will also come down to N3,000 per week. Okada riders will now pay N4,000 per month; that is, N1,000 per week. Mini trucks used to pay N20,000 per month. You’ll now pay N15,000 per month which is N3,750 per week”, Soludo announced.
The governor explained that while his team would go back to the drawing board, the move of suspending the payment was to ensure that nobody would be taxed twice.
He called on everyone to join hands with his administration to keep the state secure, clean, prosperous and liveable.
He assured them that his government is determined to institute a progressive tax system because APGA is a party for the common man.
He said, “This government will protect and promote the common man’s interests. To make the system more equitable, we are working on comprehensive tax reform.
“Tax collection from hawkers, wheelbarrow pushers, and vulcanizers is prohibited in Anambra State.
“As a progressive government, we are determined to ensure that the poor are not burdened by taxes and that the wealthy pay their fair share. The truth is that you are paying more than your fair share,” Governor Soludo emphasised.
“I understand what you’re going through; I feel and touch it, and that’s why we’re going all out to declare a total emergency on state roads to alleviate your suffering.”
“It is true that the government requires funds!” There is no such thing as a society that has developed without people paying taxes.
“Last year, Anambra’s total tax contribution as revenue was barely N20 billion, which is insufficient for the massive road construction we have begun, let alone other sectors.
“Nobody likes paying taxes, but we’ve started a tax revolution. Our main challenge is being harassed by touts and being taxed multiple times.
“The vast majority of what you pay goes into private pockets and never reaches the government,” Governor Soludo explained.
“We called this meeting because some of the things we designed to work aren’t working as we intended.
“When we organised open bidding for concessions, we agreed that old prices would remain the same, but operators are complaining about price increases that are not part of the agreement, so it’s a major concern,” Governor Soludo said.
“We want unions, but only unions led by operators. This will be possible once your enumeration is complete. The government will come and supervise your election, after which you will be able to choose your chairman for a specific term.
We want to do away with professional lifetime unions! Unions must be run by operators.”