Governor David Nweze Umahi has stated that the new tax regime introduced by his administration was done in the best interest of the people of Ebonyi State.
Governor Umahi said in Abakaliki that the tax was not intended to punish the people, rather to cushion the impact of the dwindling allocation accruing to the state from the federation account in the state.
He explained that with an improved internal revenue base, the state government would be able to execute projects that would transform the state and better the lots of the citizens.
Umahi said the “unfriendly” reactions from some persons to the new taxes and levies introduced by the government was unnecessary, adding that the government did not direct that the arrears of taxes for 2013 and 2014 be collected alongside those of 2015 as claimed by antagonists of the new tax regime.
“My people went beyond bounds. We never directed anybody to collect taxes for 2013 and 2014. Our interest is for 2015. There is nowhere, with the level of poverty in the state, that we will ask people to pay tax for three years and give them four days to do that.”
He appealed to the people to pay their taxes for 2015 based on the new rate, stressing that a town hall meeting would be held next week to review the impact of the new tax regime and assured that “those who paid for 2013 and 2014 will be refunded”.
He warned those charged with the enforcement of the payment of taxes in the state to wear a human face in the execution of the assignment, warning that any revenue agent found to be engaging in malpractices would be made to face the wrath of the law.
“The moment you defraud any Ebonyian in this issue of revenue, you will go to prison straight,” he said, even as he used the opportunity to appeal to traders at the Abakpa and Kpirikpiri markets to buy forms for the allocation of shops at the international market and stated that the two markets would soon be designated as food stuff markets only.
He announced the extension of time for the sale of the forms to 31st of December.


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