BusinessDay

2023 Abia guber: Labour Party’s candidate promises to abolish multiple taxations

Alex Otti, Labour Party governorship candidate in Abia State, has promised to address the issues of multiple taxations and intimidation of business people in the state by the state government if voted into office in 2023.

Otti made the promise when he met with the executive of the Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Miners and Agriculture (ACCIMA) and representatives of other allied unions recently at the chamber’s secretariat, Abayi Aba.

Jerry Kalu, the president of the Chamber who lamented the multiple taxations, noted that the understanding of the people in government now in the state and those before them about taxation was the flooding of roads with thugs and all manner of touts to harass and intimidate them in the name of revenue generation.

“Taxation is very important as a major source of internally generated revenue. However, we shall review the present tax policy which is harsh, punitive and discriminatory and stop unnecessary duplication of taxes.

“My definition of taxation is government’s share of the prosperity it has created among the populace. So create value for Abia and people will be willing to pay taxes. By implication if you have not created prosperity, you are morally not justified to collect taxes.

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“Our government will abolish illegal tax and levy collectors and stop the deployment of touts who intimidate residents in public places like markets, parks, roads and stores etc,” Otti assured.

The ACCIMA President, Kalu had enumerated various issues his members and other businesses had to go through while conducting their trades and appealed to Otti to give their concern priority attention if he gets into office.

Kalu also complained to the frontline governorship candidate how flood, bad road infrastructure, poor power supply, misguided executive orders and government’s asphyxiating tax regime have continued to kill businesses.

Otti, while promising that Labour Party government that he would lead from 2023 would ensure the creation of necessary enabling environment for their businesses to prosper.

He disclosed that some of the reliefs would include among the others tax forbearance, exploitation of some state’s natural resources for power generation, partnership with private sector to industrialise the state, thereby creating opportunities for teeming number of Abians, and of course, the payment of arrears of salaries and pensions to civil servants and retirees.