By Ugochukwu Alaribe
ABA—TRADERS at Ngwa Road, Aba have decried a new list of levies approved for them for payment by the Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief Charles Ogbonnaya, insisting that the levies are burdensome.
They stated that the multiple levies introduced by the commissioner have adversely affected their businesses as they find it difficult to make profit and feed their families.
A leader of one of the lines in the market who pleaded anonymity for fear of victimization, said the Ministry in a release signed by the Commissioner, approved a total of nine levies which each trader in the market should pay.
He said apart from the fact that the Ministry kept bringing in new levies every year, some of the levies are being duplicated.
“Each year, they kept bringing in new levies and these levies are duplicated and forced down on us. It is either you pay or your shop is locked up. Sometimes, they even threaten us.”
The trader said that the levies are much and they will not be able to pay them and still remain in business.
The levies according to a document signed by the Commissioner included: Income tax-N3,600, Storage fee-N2,000, Infrastructural levy-N2,000, Sanitation levy, ASEPA,-N3,600 and security levy-N2,000
Others are renewal of Abia State Signage Agency, ABSA, levy -N3, 000, Scooping levy-N800, Fire Service levy-N2,500 and renewal of business premises-N2,000.
Contacted, Commissioner for Trade and Investment, Chief Charles Ogbonnaya, told Vanguard that the levies payable by traders at the market have been reviewed downward to N9,000, but gave no details.