By Nwabueze Okonkwo
ONITSHA—THE Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, ONICCIMA has decried what it termed the spate of multiple taxation/levies in Onitsha, the commercial nerve centre of Anambra State, by those who claim to be agents of the state government on revenue generation.
President of ONICCIMA, Mr Don Ebubeogu who made this disclosure yesterday during an interactive session with newsmen in Onitsha, lamented that doing business in Anambra State was becoming increasingly difficult due to the activities of hoodlums who he accused of extorting money from businessmen from the point of sale and purchase till you exit Onitsha.
According to him, “in Lagos, one can move his/her goods from Idumota to Agege or Ikeja to Lagos Island, Alaba to Surulere without anybody molesting you but in Onitsha, it is difficult to move goods in a Datsun Truck or motor bike from Main Market to Upper Iweka, or Ochanja to Ose Ekwodu and others due to the activities of these hoodlums”.
The ONICCIMA boss said it is pathetic that government failed to address this problem as the officials even deny their existence, adding, “but I tell them that government cannot be helpless. We must hold government accountable here.
“If government is helpless, traders in Onitsha know how to address their problems after 10 years either as boys Oye or Bakassi boys. They will engage in self help. These agents are graduating from collecting these illegal levies to snatching of bags to full time criminals,” said Ebubeogu
He accused politicians who recruit these boys of being behind these illegal multiple levies because they create unwarranted revenue windows for themselves to extort money from people in the state.
He called for the re-branding of Onitsha as a city and the people in it by changing their value system, lamenting that Anambra state and indeed the entire South East has the lowest moral in the country today.
He said they can even sanitize the state and indeed the entire zone and that is why he made the clarion call to the media to partner with the Onitsha Chamber of Commerce to address the issue.