All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ekiti State, has criticized Governor Ayodele Fayose over imposition of outrageous taxes and forced closure of business premises in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital.
The party said the forced closure of businesses over alleged refusal to pay taxes would compound the state’s economy’s woes.
APC said the governor’s action was a wrong signal to investors willing to do businesses in the state and a disincentive to local business operators who struggled to cope with cut-throat taxes being imposed by the governor.
The Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr. Taiwo Olatunbosun, in a statement in Ado-Ekiti, yesterday said the taxes imposed on business owners were too harsh, outrageous and exploitative.
He described Fayose administration’s policies as lacking human face, saying “the prevailing economic situation in the country doesn’t support high taxes”.
He said: “Locking out traders, shop and business owners without allowing them opportunity to remove their valuables is most degrading, wicked, ungodly and inhuman.
“The task force men working with some thugs refused the business owners along Bank Road to take the keys to their homes, cash, cheque books, passbooks and other documents as they were locked inside, which resulted in Igbo traders that drive the economy of the state to stage a protest.
“Zenith and Diamond banks were illegally and forcefully locked up against the customers and the workers at the banks, thereby causing panic as in the armed robbery scene.”
Regretting that the operation was hijacked by suspected hoodlums working for the governor, he said many of the traders were physically harassed and attacked for failure to pay outrageous taxes that were already threatening some of the businesses along that axis in the state capital.
“Increasing taxes on individuals and businesses by almost 500 per cent in breach of the agreement with the local business operators in a place like Ekiti would kill the economy that is already weak.
“The forcible closure of business centres has deprived many Ekiti residents of their means of livelihood while harsh economic policies introduced by the governor has forced many hotels out of business, as hospitality business in the state is now on life support awaiting its final death.
“This is unlike the Kayode Fayemi administration that attracted many investors to the state, but now, unfortunately, Fayose’s actions are driving investors away from the state,” he said.