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Market leader commends Anambra’s 10% tax refunds, others

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PRESIDENT-General of Anambra State Market Amalgamated Traders’ Association (ASMATA), Ikechukwu Ekwegbalu, has commended Anambra State for approving the refund of 10 per cent tax paid last year.

  Mr. Ekwegbalu made the commendation while being interviewed by newsmen in his office at ASMATA Headquarters, Onitsha.

  “It is a welcome development that our Anambra State has approved that everybody who paid their taxes last year, should come and take the 10 per cent of the tax they paid.

  “We have not seen where somebody will pay tax and after several months, the person will be called to come and collect 10 per cent of the tax. But our government has done this.

  “So, we commend Anambra State Internal Revenue Service (AIRS),” PG ASMATA said.

  Ekwegbalu urged traders to make good use of the opportunity and collect the 10 per cent of the taxes they paid.

  “I urge traders in Anambra, who paid their taxes in 2019 to go to any tax office in the state to claim their 10 per cent of what they paid.

  “I paid N500, 000 as tax last year and I have collected my 10 per cent of the amount,” he said.

  The ASMATA Chief also commended the state for putting the money generated from taxes and levies into work.

  “We commend our government for the marvelous work they are doing across the state with the taxes we pay.

  “The other day, I went to the airport at Umueri with 20 market chairmen to see what our state is doing there. Whoever goes there will marvel at what is happening,” he said.

  Ekwegbalu explained the cordiality of the relationship between traders in Anambra and the Tax Verification Team (TVT).

  “Everybody in the market, the men and women pay their taxes. We pay N3, 000 per shop. Most of the people paying these taxes have property inside the town.

  “Almost all the people in Awada, Obosi, Omagba and others pay their property rate inside the town and still come to the market to pay their taxes,” he said.

  While discussing how market associations were coping with the new method of individual payment of taxes instead of one man collecting and paying for everybody, he explained that they were not happy with the method.

  “How can they be going from shop to shop collecting taxes? It will not be possible because we have already collected from them and paid to the government collectively. Later, they went inside the market and started collecting from shop to shop.

  “They have tried it but they find it difficult to do so. The fact that an importer that controls multimillion business pays N3, 000 in the same market with a widow managing a business of less than N500, 000, is cheating,” ASMATA PG said.

  “The importers are the people that own those plots inside the town. Some of them have two, three or four plots.

  “They pay their taxes for their buildings. They are not cheating anybody. Somebody that is a widow will not have plots of land in the town.

  “So those people that have plots when they come inside the market to pay their N3, 000, they go to their property and pay their property tax.

  “Already, our governor has said that the N3, 000 we are paying in the market is a tax. That it is enough for us to pay the N3, 000.”

  Ekwegbalu listed some of his achievements so far as ASMATA president, saying that in a month, they collect up to N100, 000,000 and pay into the government’s account.

  He maintained that no past executive had remitted such an amount into Anambra Government coffers. 

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