Onitsha traders lament multiple levies, beg Soludo to intervene

Onitsha traders lament multiple levies, beg Soludo to intervene

Onitsha traders lament multiple levies, beg Soludo to intervene

By Chuks Okeke, Onitsha

Traders in Onitsha under the aegis of Onitsha South Local Government Traders Association, Anambra State, have lamented imposition of multiple levies on them by Onitsha South Council Area and urged Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, to come to their rescue.

Making the lamentation through their chairman, Chief Eric Uwaoma, during their general meeting held at their secretariat along Port Harcourt road, Onitsha, they disclosed that the aim of the meeting was to brainstorm on the way out of the quagmire as it is telling on most members.

"These illegal multiple levies started since the present administration of Hon. Emeka Orji of Onitsha South Council Area came on board. We have not experienced these illegalities before and we urge Governor Soludo to come to our rescue.

"These  illegal levies include, community toll, shop levy, shop license, traders permit, property rate, among others. As a result everyone of us spends up to #35,000 yearly.

"We will no longer continue to tolerate this nonsense from Onitsha South council officials, it is real extortion at these time of hardship and wares of those who refuse to pay are taken to the council Secretariat," he disclosed.

On defence of the local Government Area, the Special Assistant to the council chairman on Revenue Matters, Chief Stanley Efobi, stated that he was not aware of most of the illegal levies and urged the traders to only pay for the genuine levies they have been paying before now.

He frowned at such multiple levies adding that he would take their matter to the council chairman pledging that the chairman would look into their matter with a view to knowing the ones not emanating from the council.

Also reacting, the State Market Coordinator, Hon. Chike Odoji, lamented that such illegalities would be taken place when the state government warned severally that local Government areas are under the state and are warned to stop collecting levies meant by the state government.

He disclosed that arrangements have been concluded to have unified means of payment which according to him will commence this 2024  physical year.

He reminded the traders that with the unified system of payment called General Purpose payment, only sanitation levy that is excluded from it and urged them to continue to make payments only on sanitation separately.

Speaking, chairman of Electronics Market Iweka, Mr. Akubue Godwin, accused ARTMA of harassing his members on alleged traffic offence wondering how their order continues to be a confused one.

"They asked the tricycle (Keke) operators to be parking along the road and those of us who park our vehicles in front of our shops not to do so while they allow the tricycle operators to park in front of our shops.

"Where do they want us to park with vehicles loading and off loading our goods. They make funny of the entire thing when they said that we will be rotating our parking mood such that weekly we change our parking position from left hand side of the road to right hand side.

"We want governor Soludo to intervene because in all markets traders park their vehicles in front of their shops so long it doesn't block the road," he pleaded.

Others who condemned the multiple levies from Onitsha South council Area included, Mr. Christian Ogbonna, who is the chairman of New APZ traders/Technicians Union, Hon. Eddy Anozie, chairman of John street Onitsha, among others.

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