Multiple Taxation: Traders protest in Abakaliki town

Traders under the aegis of Miller Association in Ebonyi have protested over what they claimed to be multiple taxation in the state’s mill market.
It recalls that the group had also on May 18 embarked on a peaceful protest, decrying alleged extortions of traders by the management of the market.

They appealed to the state government to review its revenue policy and reduce  the increased taxes.

The protesters on Thursday again matched from the State Rice Mill Market to the Old Government House, Abakaliki, demanded for the removal of the current Chairman and its executives.

The Protesters carried various placards with different inscriptions such as, "we do not want the current Chairman again;" "We need an election to have an elected chairman;" "The current executive must go;" "We are tired of the multiple and high taxes."
Other placards also read: "Please, government, allow us to conduct election," amongst others.

Speaking with  journalists, Mrs Fidelia Mbam,  Women Leader of the Millers, said that they embarked on the peaceful protest to appeal to government to reduce the increased taxation in the rice mill market.

"We have suffered too much in the area of revenue in the market. Charges such as gate fees have been increased and this is driving away our customers.

“We cannot cope anymore. The state government should do something to reduce the taxes.

“The cost of an empty bag of  rice has increased; a 25kg bag sold  for between N150 and N200 before  is now N300, while the 50kg  bag that was selling for  N300  before is now selling  for N500,'' Mrs Mbam explained.

It recalls that Mr Chukwuma Eniokoro,  the Chairman of the Millers had on May 18 told journalists that the monthly payment for revenue was N500, 000 before, but had been  increased to N3.5 million at the moment.

Responding, Chief  Kenneth Igwe Ugbala, Secretary to the State Government and Coordinating Commissioner, said that  the state government was committed to the development of the rice mill and would not allow something that could bring backward traders.

"I greet you; we have heard your voice, what burdens you also burdens the state government; we do not want anything that will stand as obstacle with you in the market.
"We want you to go back to your shops in the market and I promise to take your messages to the Governor, David Umahi, because he is not around," Ugbala stated.

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