Onitsha - The Anambra Government has appealed to traders in the state to pay their taxes and levies promptly, to enable it to fast track development.
Governor Willie Obiano made the appeal in Onitsha on Tuesday while inaugurating the multi-million naira `Traders House’ built by the Amalgamated Market Traders Association of Anambra State (AMATAS).
Obiano, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke, noted that the taxes were needed for the state government to meet various social and infrastructural obligations for the citizenry.
"The government has performed excellently in security, construction and reconstruction of roads as well as environmental cleanliness, which all of you can attest to.
"But we cannot do all these and sustain them without your cooperation through paying your taxes and levies, since traders make up 75 per cent of the population of the state.
"Again, it is clear to everyone in the country that allocation from the Federation Account is dwindling and we need to shore-up our Internal Revenue Generation (IGR)," he said.
The governor also urged traders to help in keeping the state clean especially, Onitsha.
He, however, debunked the rumour that commercial motorcycle operators were banned in the state, adding that the government only stopped them from plying few major roads.
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Earlier, the Commissioner for Industries, Trade and Commerce, Ifeatu Onejeme, said that the new secretariat of traders would serve as a unifying factor that would bring peace and progress to traders in Anambra.
Onejeme noted that the government was putting electricity and other infrastructure in most markets.
He said that very soon, the state would have markets that operate 24 hours daily.
"The government is attracting a lot of national and foreign investors to the state as well as developing new markets to accommodate more of our people.
"I would also urge traders to take advantage of the e-trading (internet trading) to expand the horizon of their sales and make trading easier," he said.
In an address, the President-General of AMATAS, Chief Okwudili Ezenwankwo, said that completing the Traders House in record time portrayed the present leadership of traders as visionary and purposeful.
Ezenwankwo thanked the government for its financial support toward the completion of the project.
The president also lauded the contribution of Chief Poly Emenike, who donated N8 million for the completion and fittings of the two-storey house.
"We most sincerely commend the chairmen and executive committees of all markets in Anambra State for their total support for this project as well as for the confidence and trust which you reposed in the executives by re-electing us for another four years," he said.
Over 5,000 traders across Anambra and the South-East witnessed the inauguration of the house.