Anambra State Government is to kick-start the implementation of the new digital tax collection system in the state from tomorrow 1st of July 2022.
The implication is that the state government has banned all manner of collection of government revenues by private individuals, Ministries Departments and Agencies.
Governor Chukwuma Soludo disclosed this on Wednesday, at a townhall meeting yesterday in Awka, with transport and market union leaders to mark the lifting of the 3-month suspension of revenue collection from members of these unions to allow the Government deploy technology and introduce gradual reforms of the tax collection system in the State.
Addressing the meeting, Governor Soludo warned anyone posing as a government revenue collector in any part of the state, to desist forthwith or face the full wrath of the law, as his administration is making frantic efforts to stop leakages of government revenue which usually end up in private pockets.
Governor Soludo said Anambra is an alpha state, adding that the state should ideally be a reference point in all ramifications as one of the developed States within the federation.
He pointed out that the new tax regime has become imperative as the era of revenue generation through the sale of crude oil is gradually phasing out.
“It is important to note that since February this year, no remittance had been done from the NNPC into the federation’s account as money accruable from the sale of crude oil is gradually dwindling.
“As it is, the only way out for a state like Anambra, is to leverage our internally-generated revenue from our state to continue to provide dividends of democracy to our people.
“Let it be known that while governments during the oil era could afford to contract out revenue sources to cronies because they had enough, now is a crunch time and we can no longer sustain such and that is why we are introducing this new system,” the governor explained.
He stressed however that henceforth, public parks owned by the government will be directly managed by public servants employed by government.
“These public servants will not be directly involved in collecting monies for government.
“Their task will be to ensure that anybody who has paid the necessary monies is allowed to use the parks as much as they want,” Soludo said.
The governor further directed that caretaker committee members in Anambra markets are forbidden from collecting revenue on behalf of government.
The Governor pleaded with those who will be affected by the new system to consider the larger picture of making Anambra succeed for the greater good of the people.
He however quickly offered to provide alternatives for them.
Governor Soludo called on the different unions to mobilize their members for action, stating that his administration will not hesitate to enforce the new directive for the general well-being of the state economy.
In his remarks the Commissioner for Transportation, Barrister Pat Igwebuike, who also addressed the gathering, said Governor Soludo is committed to the cause of road transporters.
She asked them to join hands with the Soludo government to salvage the already battered system which has gross adverse effects on the state economy.
She called on the members of the Union who have not acquired their identification, to do so as quickly as possible.
For the Commissioner for Homeland Affairs, Chief Chikodi Anarah, Anambra used to be the pride of place for business operators, every day of the week, but decried the low turnout and patronage which has characterized ‘Mondays’ due to the Sit at home syndrome.
He said this unfortunate development is making business owners to relocate their businesses to neighbouring states.
Chairman of Anambra State Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Richard Madiebo explained that the present administration has designed the revenue framework in such a way that people can now pay their taxes and levies seamlessly as well as eliminate multiple taxation.
Mr. Madiebo further said that all taxes and levies payers in the state will be issued with a digital Identification.
He disclosed that commercial vehicle operators who make daily payment, will not be charged to pay anymore in any public park, adding that five percent of the revenue generated by any union, will be given to them to manage the respective business places.
Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Uche Okafor, Deputy Speaker, Rt. Hon. Paschal Agbodike, Secretary to the State Government, Professor Solo Chukwulobelu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, and an array of market leaders attended the function which featured question, answer and contribution session.