By Ugochukwu Alaribe
Aba—Despite Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s directive to revenue agents to stop harassing residents and motorists in Abia State, the agents in Aba have continued pasting demand notices, warning residents to comply or be dealt with.
Governor Ikpeazu had stopped the payment of all levies being paid in the state until they were harmonized.
Our correspondent who visited some areas of the city as Ngwa road, Ogbor Hill, Umungasi, Umule, Abayi, Ohanku and Obohia roads, discovered renewed pasting of demand notices by revenue agents for infrastructure and Sanitation levies being collected by Abia State Environmental Protection Agency, ASEPA,.
One of such demand noticesread: “Last Warning. With reference to the previous demand notice served to you for the payment of sanitation fee for 2015 amounting to N9, 600, you are therefore warned in your own interest to make the payment on or before 48 hours of this notice or face prosecution.”
When one of the revenue agents who declined to have his name on print was confronted on the governor’s order, he said the order did not affect payment of sanitation levy.
Our correspondent also discovered some revenue agents who lined up major road junctions in Aba collecting assorted revenue and tolls.
Vanguard reports that the residents and businessman in the state have lamented the incidence of multiple taxation which had increased the cost of doing business in the state.
A resident of Umule area, Emma Orji told Vanguard that he heard that the state government had stopped the collection of levies but that the agents warned them to pay the levy or be prosecuted, claiming that infrastructure levy was not among the levies stopped.
When contacted, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Mr. Ugochukwu Emezue, said multiple taxation had been a hydra-headed problem for the state and called on the residents to resist such payments as the governor’s order was still in force.
He said Governor Ikpeazu was trying to harmonize the issue of multiple taxation, block revenue leakages and grow the economy of the state by encouraging businesses through a situation where payments would be made into government approved bank accounts.