The tax payments for heavy-duty loading and offloading in the transportation industry has been suspended by Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, the governor of Anambra State. At a meeting held at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Women’s Development Center in Awka, representatives from the State Government, transportation companies, and other important parties discussed and decided on the new modalities.
Additionally, Governor Soludo approved weekly payments for Tricycles (keke), shuttle buses, and other transport providers. Drivers of shuttle buses will now receive N3000 per week or N12,000 per month’s compensation, and drivers of mini trucks will receive N3,750 per week or N15,000 per month. Tricycle operators will continue to receive N2,500 per week or N10,000 per month.
In contrast, taxi drivers, will now pay N3,000 per week or N12,000 per month, motorcycle riders (Okada) will now pay N1000 per week or N4000 per month.
The meeting, according to the governor, was called to let them know he had heard their complaints about the way taxes were being collected.
Furthermore, Governor Soludo emphasized that he shared their worries about the rate reduction, the frequency of payments (daily or weekly), and the problem of various taxes. “APGA is a party for the ordinary man,” he informed them, and said his government is committed to implementing a progressive tax system. “This Government will protect and promote the common man’s interests ” he said.
Still speaking, the governor said they are working on comprehensive tax reform to improve the system’s equity. “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 emphasized.
“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! A society that has grown without taxation of its citizens does not exist. Although the current overall tax revenue is insufficient for the vast road work we have started, let alone other industries. Anambra’s overall tax contribution as revenue last year was only N20 billion.”
Governor Soludo further explained: “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.
“We called this meeting because some of the things we designed to work aren’t working as we intended. When we organized 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. We want unions; but only unions led by operators.
“Once you have finished your enumeration, you will be able to do this. You will be able to select your chairman for a particular term after the government comes and oversees your election. We want to abolish lifetime professional unions.” Governor Soludo believes that operators must be in charge of unions.
The governor promised that technology will be used to collect daily taxes in response to their requests, but that it would take some time to put it into practice. He insisted that it is the sole means of staying away from the outdated practices of unions and touts.
“We’re putting together an implementation enforcement team and a help desk. Send a picture, and video evidence, if you have any information. We will make it go viral in order to apprehend the perpetrators. There will be phone numbers of enforcement agencies provided; so that people can communicate and file complaints on whatever challenges they are facing,” he said.
To help the government maintain Anambra clean, Governor Soludo requested transportation providers to install trash cans in their fleet; so that passengers might discard trash there.
The state administration met with members of the Anambra Transport Union on January 10, 2023, and their numerous grievances and ideas were expressed, according to the previous information provided by Mr. Richard Madiebo, Chairman of the Anambra Internal Revenue Service. He averred that the current administration is a listening one; and that stakeholders will always work together for the good of the country.
According to Mr. Madiebo, some transport providers grumbled about rate decrease; some claimed they wanted to be paid daily; and others griped about touts. He said the goal of the gathering was to hear from more people so that appropriate feedback could be gathered.
The meeting was attended by The Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi; Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor; Commissioner for Special Duties, Barr. Sly Ezeokenwa; Commissioner for Information, Sir Paul Nwosu; Commissioner for Budget & Economic Planning, Mrs Chiamaka Nnake; Special Adviser on Security, AVM Ben Chiobi (Rtd.); Commissioner for Transport, Mrs Patricia Igwebuike; Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Foster Ihejiofor; amongst others.