Abakaliki - The Ebonyi House of Assembly has faulted the state government’s arbitrary taxation policy and subsequently, summoned three commissioners to appear before it next week.
The affected commissioners are Chief Moses Ogodo-Ali (Environment), Mrs Elizabeth Ogbaga (Commerce and Industry) and Dr Dennis Ekumankama (Finance).
The affected ministries outlined various categories of taxes and levies on the people, which have caused protests by several groups and heightened tension in the state.
Chris Usulor (PDP - Ezza South) while commenting on matters of urgent public importance, noted that the ministries negated the true requirements of the law governing such taxations.
“This development has caused untold sufferings on the people who voted us into power and endangers the security of the state due to the protests and acrimony which greeted the taxes’ enforcement.
“The law made by this House of Assembly stipulates that it will approve all taxes and levies by organs of the state’s executive arm of government before putting it to the public.
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“The actions of these arms of the executive arm of government contravene Section 23 of Ebonyi Environmental Protection Agency Law of 2015.
“This law stipulates that all charges, taxes, rates, among others, by the executive arm of government should firstly be presented to the House of Assembly for approval.”
Usulor expressed regret that the concerned ministries commenced enforcement of the taxes without recourse to the House and commenced the destruction of stalls and shops belong to the citizens.
“I therefore move a motion that the House summons the affected commissioners before it, to explain their actions and provide other necessary information,” he said.
Seconding the motion, Frank Onwe (PDP-Ohaukwu North) noted that the multiple taxes were levied on business entrepreneurs and firms.
Obasi Odefa, Deputy Speaker of the House, said it was regrettable that a beer parlour owner and radio repairer were given outrageous taxes of N129 000 yearly.
Onu Nwonye (PDP-Ohaozara West) urged the House to halt the trend because those affected by the taxes would still be needed to vote for the members and other politicians in the 2019 general elections.
Francis Nwifuru, the Speaker of the House, criticized the arbitrary taxation, noting that the House was obligated to make laws that would protect the peoples’ interest.