Thursday, 31 May 2018

Governor Ben Ayade Extortion Tactics: Multiple Taxation Regimes —By Ifere Paul

31 May 2018 

It is quite disheartening to note that even as the government of Ben Ayade has been hyping itself of tax exemption to low incomers in the State, there is however, contrary evidences that the same government is actually over taxing low income earners and businesses that were initially struggling for survival. 

In Gakem, Bekwarra LGA of Cross River State, many businesses are shutting down as a result of multiple taxation regimes using the touts employed and contracted by the State Internal Revenue Service Department. Many business men and women are crying out too loud for these massive extortion by a supposed tax friendly Governor. 

Cross River State is no longer a destination for business for non indigenes who initially took the State as a second home because of trade. Now, many of these persons rather goes to neighbouring Akwa Ibom State, or Enugu, and Ebonyi States. 

Moving palm oil or bush mango (Ogbono) from Boki, Ikom, Etung, Bekwarra, Yakurr LGAs is like moving diamonds from the State compared with States like Osun, Oyo, and Ogun. Traders who seasonally troop into Cross River State for these good, these days, find alternative places to keep their businesses intact. In a little village in Etara, heaps of plantain are left to rotten because no one has come to buy them from the villagers. 

Cross Riverians are left to the mercy of God for daily survivals as they watch their farm produce destroyed by weather elements. To journey to these villages is a story for another day as there are no road to access these places. All we hear in Cross River State is Ayade Industrial park as if that is what will put food on the table of these people living in the interior and remote inaccessible villages. 

The following taxes are taxes that people are forced to pay or your commodities will be seized by government officials. 

(1) Cross River youth empowerment levy.

(2) Cross River hazard levy.

(3) Cross River entry gate pass levy.

(4) Cross River  daily operational toll levy.

(5) Cross River inter-state fee.

(6) Cross River milling fee.

(7) Sewage fee.

(8) Cross River urban dev. levy on fed. high way.

(9) Cross River ecological levy.

(10) Cross River road infrastructure levy.

(11) Cross River commercial transport regulatory fee.

(12) Cross River commerce and commodities control fee.

(13) Heavy Duty haulage.

(14) Cross River economy development levy.

(15) Produce inspection fee.

(16) Produce evacuation fee.

(17) Vet Inspection fee (for animal traders).

Next time you see a business premises shutting down or relocating, do not blame them. Blame the Governor's Boys at the IRS in Calabar. 

My name na Ifere Paul.

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