Tax Relief: Soludo Abolishes Collection Of Levies From Vulcanizers, Wheelbarrow Pushers, Hawkers In Anambra
In his resolve to ensure equal opportunity and transparency in revenue streams, the Governor of Anambra State, Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo earlier today hosted a second public bid auction for revenue agents
The event which took place at Government House, Awka was described as flying revenue streams by government.
The revenue streams that were up for public bid include; Statewide Gaming and Lotto Fee Collection, Statewide Public Toilet and Convenient Tolls, Statewide Abbatoir Fees and Statewide Car Wash.
Commenting on the essence of the bid, Governor Soludo said;
“In a situation whereby the winner of the bid can’t meet up with payment, the next in line will be called upon.
“After the first public bid, people called on phone saying they are ready to pay two months in advance of what the winner was meant to pay.
“But we are transparent and following the rules. For these revenue streams, 1st of November will be the effective commencement date.
“Winners have from now to 31st of this month to pay. They will be given a letter with account information on how to pay and also another letter authorizing winners to start collecting revenue.
“The payment structure is to pay one month in advance or get a bank guarantee so when the need for payment arises, the bank can pay on your behalf,” he said.
The Chairman of AIRS, Mr Richard Madiebo stressed that the public bid affords Ndi Anambra the chance to contribute their expertise in helping the state to increase its IGR.
“In the first rule, there is an opening price for a revenue head and you are given the opportunity for bidding. The highest bidder and 9 others will be selected.
“Winners will be given condition of payment and should they fail to meet up, it would be given to the next person, he said.
The public bid kicked off with “Statewide Gaming and Lotto fee collection”
Hon Pascal from Ihiala asked for lotto tag prize to assist in their bidding.
The AIRS boss in his response said the annual fees paid for Application is N50,000. Sports betting N5 Million, Lotto new entrance N10 million, Promotions N500,000, Scratch Cards N500,000, Casinos N10 Million, Slots N250,000, Pool Promoters N1.5 million, Pool Agents N5000, Raffle N40,000 etc.
Chinedu from Awka said it’s very unfortunate there was no Stakeholders meeting before the public bid but Governor Soludo replied that the Public bid has fully commenced and anyone who is interested should bid while those who aren’t were free to leave the premises.
Governor Soludo further said people will bid on what exists. “In the future, if what exists is reviewed, there will be changes.”
He thanked Pastor Azuka who gave clarification on how it’s been done in Lagos. He said the fixed sums are collected by the state but the variables are what are bidded for.
For a start, Governor Soludo continued, the next 6 – 12 months in our trial phase, we shall concession everything if need be.
“We are starting off by concessioning everything! What we care about is give us what you bid for, the remaining is yours. This is why we are here!
“If you win, nobody can help or hinder you. It is your own! We want a clear and transparent bidding process,” Governor Soludo pointed out.
On the second revenue stream was Statewide Public Toilet and Convenient tolls”
Mr Amos Amaralu from Orumba said there are 3 categories for public toilet; public toilets built by Government, public toilets built on Government land and public toilets built in private properties. He asked if the three categories are concessioned.
The AIRS Boss replied that public toilets built by Government and public toilets built on Government land are the revenue streams up for concession.
After a successful public bid, Governor Soludo said that the event is a demonstration of the Anambra spirit noting that surely, change must come.
“We must build a liveable and prosperous homeland. Everyone has something to contribute towards this vision.
“We are trying to build a connection between the citizens and the Government. We have been employed as an agent to work for you.
“Every penny in our hands, we will show the value to ndi Anambra. As revenue comes in, we keep awarding contracts for more road construction because we have a road crisis which we are solving.
“This is not about us but about you. This public bid, to the best of my knowledge has not happened anywhere in the country.
“We are also trying to minimize tax incidence on our people. Keke Drivers who pay their taxes will be given free health insurance.
“People have forgotten that the government make use of taxes to work.
“This message must go to all markets in Anambra. Wheel barrow pushers must not pay any fee in the state.
“Vulcanizers operating along the road should also cease from paying any fee to anyone.
“Hawkers shouldn’t pay any fees. These poor people should stop being harassed.
“This message is for the Market unions. If they are found with any evidence, that union will be dissolved with immediate effect.
“We want to build a society where the poor feel empowered and where the rich can get more resources to create wealth and employment, Soludo said.
“This is part of the revolution ongoing in the state. In this way, we have greater value for money.
“The winners will be given their letters confirming their success. Bank details will also be provided to pay on or before Monday 31st by 3.00pm.”
Governor Soludo was also assisted by his Deputy, Dr Onyekachukwu Ibezim at the event. The Governor thanked the participants immensely for participating and wished them all a safe trip back to their various destinations.
In attendance were the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Mr Ernest Ezeajughi, Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Foster Ihejiofor, his environment and Transport counterparts, Mr. Felix Odimegwu, Barr. Patricia Igwebuike respectively, Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, AVM Ben Chiobi (Rtd.), as well as the Managing Director of ASWAMA, Mike Ozoemena.
By Christian ABURIME