February 27, 2024

Revenue generation: Enugu govt seals market

US-based Igbo group AVID, WIC warn Mbah of establishing cattle ranch in Enugu

Enugu State Governor, Peter Mbah

The Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue on Tuesday sealed some parts of Ogige Market in Nsukka, over the alleged failure of some traders to pay a newly approved N21,000 annual fee.

The Executive Chairman of the board, Mr Emmanuel Nnamani, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Nsukka.

He said that the annual fee was approved by Gov. Peter Mbah.

The chairman, who did not state the old fee, warned that the government would prosecute anybody who would re-open the sections of the market without authorisation.

“The board sealed some parts of the market, and until traders in the areas pay the fee, the seal will remain.

“Anybody who unseals it without the board’s approval will be prosecuted,” Nnamani warns.

Reacting, a trader in the market, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also told NAN that some parts of the market were sealed because the traders failed to pay the annual fee.

”Traders at Ogige Market, Nsukka, Enugu State, came to the market on Tuesday morning only to discover that some parts have been sealed by Enugu State Government.

“Since Mbah assumed office in 2023, he said that every trader in the market would pay N21,000 annually to help his administration in the development of the state.

“Traders are feeling reluctant to pay because the increase is too much from N3,000 we used to pay during the tenure of former Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

“It is unfortunate that the state government has made good its threat that if traders fail to pay the fee, Ogige Market will be sealed,” the trader said.

Mrs Ngozi Ozioko, Chairman of Ogige Market Amalgamated Traders Association, Nsukka, said that the decision was to let traders know that the government was serious about the fee payment.

“I have been telling the traders to pay the fee since January to avert the sealing of the market.

“They were taking it as joke but this morning, the traders were rushing to pay it because the government has sealed some parts of the market.

“I know the economy is hard, but traders can pay the fee by installments as it is not compulsory for them to pay the fee at once.

“I am appealing to the Internal Revenue Board to give us a little time as traders are now rushing to pay the government-approved fee,” she said.

Ozioko said that only traders whose shops were not sealed could open for business while those affected could be allowed to operate after presenting evidence of payment.

NAN reports that officials of the board used a red tape to seal some parts of Ogige Market on Tuesday.

A statement: “Sealed by Enugu State Internal Revenue. Unauthorised Unsealing will Attract Prosecution”, was written on the seal. (NAN)