By Gabriel Enogholase
BENINâ€”EDO State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday in Benin said that he would continue to execute his policies and programmes aimed at making life bearable for Edo people, despite condemnations and oppositions from certain individuals in the state.
He also reiterated the determination of his administration to close down privately-owned schools thatÂ refused to comply with the new tax regime in the state and lashed out at medical doctors in the employmentÂ of the state who have establishedÂ Â Â private hospitals and clinics and yet refused to pay the new tax rate.
The governor, who made this disclosure while swearing in three special advisers, said his administration had decided to tax a few individuals who could pay to take care of the large populace who are poor.
â€œWe are going to change the face of governance. Farmers farming on their own land are exempted from taxation. They are already poor and we cannot put more burden on them.
â€œWe are also not asking hawkers and petty traders to pay tax. We will take from those who can afford the payment to protect those who cannot. Those who have the ability must pay,â€ he said.
Commenting on the actions of council chairmen in the state who have been engaging in confrontations with the state government over deductions from their federal allocations, Oshiomhole said, â€œwe have some militant chairmen who think they are running their own government. We try to persuade them to appreciate that different levels of government are serving the people.
â€œIn a multi-party system, the challenge of developing the state lies in the three arms of government. I will asked the special adviser on local government to talk to them so that we can work together to move Edo State forward.”
In spite of the lamentations from the council chairmen that the number of primary school teachers in their locality were too many, the governor insisted that he would employ more teachers until all the schools in the villages had the required number of teachers.
The three special advisers sworn_in are Mr. Austin Atakpu (Taxatioin), Hon Charles Idahosa (Political Affairs)Â and Chief Lucky James.(Local GovernmentÂ Matters)