Ochanja market smiles home with Anambra IGR star prize

Ochanja market smiles home with Anambra IGR star prize

The star winner, Chief Muo, being Presented with large size plasma TV by the Chief of Staff and assisted by AIRS boss, IGR House committee chairman, others

By Emeka Okeke, Awka

Governor Charles Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State, committee chairman on Internally  Generated Revenue, IGR, House  of Assembly, Hon. Ngobili Jude, Executive Chairman, Anambra Internal Revenue Service, AIRS, Chief Greg Ezeilo, President General, PG, Anambra State Markets Amalgamated Traders' Association, ASMATA, Chief Humphrey Anuna and Senior Spacial Assistant on IGR, Mrs Kate Onyeka, have commended Ochanja Central market, Onitsha, ably led by Chief Bonaventure Muo, for beating all markets in the state to win the IGR star prize on revenue generation..

Governor Soludo who was ably represented by his Chief of Staff, Hon. Ernest  Ezeajughi, at the occasion held at UHBET Centre, Awka, State capital, lauded Ochanja market chairman for the feat and urged him not to relent even as he advised traders in Onitsha to try to sustain the tempo of revenue generation to avoid being taken over by traders in Anambra South zone due to the dualization of roads that will lead to the zone and Ekwulobia flyover bridge that will attract business activities there.

"The AIRS chairman, Ezeilo, is  working very hard, the governor employed hardworking people and that is the increase you are seeing in IGR. We inherited insecurity, decayed infrastructures but with this money generated in Ochanja Central Market, Main market, Ogbaru Relief (Main)market and others, we were able to change the narratives. This money has been put into use to achieve the governor's target of making the state to become the Dubai of Africa.

"I commend the ASMATA PG, Chief Anuna for his efforts towards the increase on market IGR. He also introduced the ASMATA newspaper, "Traders'  Voice," that no successive administrations have done, to help project market activities," Ezeajughi stated.

He advised those who did not get the much expected IGR to work harder even as he advised the star prize winner, Chief Muo, to be wary of 'over take,' by maintaining the tempo saying that he has made the state government proud.

Also contributing, the Committee chairman on IGR in the House of Assembly, Hon. Jude, expressed satisfaction with Ochanja market chairman and urged him to keep it up stating that government relies on Onitsha markets for IGR which assists in the infrastructural development of the state.

According to him, "The relationship between my committee and AIRS is cordial and that is the success of today's event. The governor has given matching order that all revenue generations be unified into General Purpose Levy, GPL. Anambra Property levy will also help to increase the revenue base of the state. We want to unlock the revenue sources in Anambra," he affirmed.

Speaking, the AIRS chairman, Ezeilo, commended the winner of the star prize, Ochanja market, led by Muo and 10 other markets that received prizes for their efforts in IGR generation and urged them to intensify efforts saying that from their money the governor develops the state.

He paid glowing tribute to Ochanja market chairman, Chief Muo, who presented #95 million plus, to emerge the winner, recalling that Onitsha Main market has always been the winner of the star prize until now.

He however, reminded the traders that the issue of multiple levies have become a thing of the past as all revenues should now be put into General Purpose Levy with immediate effect.

"Anybody that comes to you for any manners of revenue should be handed over to the police. It was signed by Governor Soludo in 2023 for all levies to come under GPL," he warned.

The AIRS boss told the traders that it is this money they generate that the governor used to develop the state and urged them to intensify efforts for the rapid infrastructural development of the state.

Also speaking, the ASMATA PG, Chief Anuna, commended the star prize winner and others that hot prizes adding and assured Soludo that no stone would be left unturned I'm the bid to increase the revenue base of the state as the traders have joined to develop the state.

"The achievements of the governor in just two years are there for all to see and that means in four years the much talked about Dubai of Africa, which is Anambra State, would have been achieved," he stated.

In her remark, Mrs Onyeka, SSA on IGR, stated that the traders were big access to state government adding that the increase on revenue generation was through the efforts of Ezeilo.

Expressing satisfaction for beating other markets, Chief Muo disclosed that the magic wand was to keep to government instructions, adding that his efforts made about 90 per cent of the shops in the market to pay their stallage levies.

On the advice for him to maintain the tempo of being number one in IGR generation he said that the star prize he won would spur him to do more than he did

He paid growing tribute to Governor Soludo, Chief of Staff, Special Adviser to the governor on  Trade and Markets, Hon. Evarist Uba, ASMATA PG and AIRS Chairman, for the honour done him adding that if not for their encouragement and advice, he would not have worked hard to win the star prize.

Earlier, the chairman of Onitsha Main market, Chief Ezennia Ezeoha, attributed his loss of the first position to Ochanja market due to splitting of some part's of his market to become independent adding that it is a good thing for the child to grow bigger than the father.

"I started this competition of IGR in the markets, and today this is the outcome, to intensify efforts to increase the market IGR base for the state government," he disclosed.

He however, expressed optimism that all hope is not lost in his effort to return to his former position of being the number one market in IGR generation maintaining that he has no regret having off springs from Onitsha main market to become independent.

According to him, "Emeka Offor Plaza that was formerly under Main market and one other market generated #25 million each, which if joined to my market, will be about #150 million, which is far more than that  of the winner of the star prize," he stated.

Also, the chairman of Ogbaru Relief market, Chief Ndubuisi Ochiogu, who got third position, commended the courage of Governor Soludo, Chief of Staff, Evarist Uba, ASMATA PG and AIRS chairman for the increase in the market IGR.

"Formerly some of the money will go into private pockets by the time it gets to the state government, but now government has directed that the money be paid direct to it and that is the cause of increase in the IGR," he hinted.

"So I commend them for proper record of IGR in the markets now because it is through this money that the governor will be able to fix the roads and other infrastructures in the State," he said.

The chairman of Ogbunike Building Materials market, Mr. Okechukwu Umeh, said that the prizes given to traders will spur them to work hard adding that Soludo wants hardworking people in his government.

"He made me to be hard working which resulted in our market generating #2.4 million instead of #400,000 I met when I came on board as the chairman even if our market is a small market compared with others," he stated.

The chairman of Ogidi Building Materials International market, Chief Jude Nwankwo, that won the 11th position, was ably represented by his secretary, Mr Ikechukwu Nkwo, who said that the prizes given to the traders will spur them to perform more than they did.

According to him the numerous achievements of governor Soludo will speak for him come the 2025 gubernatorial election adding that the governo's  achievements in just two years have surpassed what other administrations were not able to do in 16 years.

Also Hon. Okwudili Ezeh, coordinator, Anambra South Markets IGR, expressed satisfaction with the prizes to hardworking traders adding that it will encourage others to work hard.

In their various remarks, the chairman of Mgbuka Obosi Old Motor Spare parts market Ugwuagba Obosi, Chief Samuel Ifurunwa, who got a prize, Green Seed market chairman, Chief Chijioke Okpala and Ogbo Efele market chairman, Mr. Innocent Munonye, all  expressed satisfaction with the prizes to hardworking traders adding that Governor Soludo has really come to take the state to the next level.

Highlight of the occasion was presentation of gift items to the 11 winners.

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