GOVERNOR David Umahi of Ebonyi State yesterday disclosed that his administration has uncovered illegal heavy taxation in the state and has decided to put an end to it. He said some persons have been arrested for the act.
“There has been very serious concern in our society whereby our people are groaning under heavy taxation and unfortunately, we are not seeing this money. We hardly get N25 million from such taxation.
And so, in the weeks coming, we want to do stakeholders meeting and the stakeholders meeting is going to invite the elders, students union leadership, the labour union leadership, market women and men, the landlords and all the revenue contractors.
“I have directed that all the chargeable revenues should be published ahead of the time on radio and televisions so that on that day, the women will come and say how much they are being charged and the means of collection. We will deploy POS and minimise the issue of collection by cash.
“We are aware of a lot of illegal collection which the society alone can help us and I believe that after that stakeholders meeting, everybody will begin to be helpful. We have arrested a number of them and we will send them to the police to charge them to the court and our penalty for such collection in Ebonyi is severe”, the governor said.
He further added that he was misled by a former Secretary to the state Government to sack one of his Commissioners, Moses Ogodoali who has been reinstated. Ogodoali was sacked about four months for alleged misconduct.
Professor Bernard Odoh was Secretary to the State Government when Ogodoali was relieved of his duty as Commissioner for Agriculture. Ogodoali was also Commissioner for Environment and Empowerment and Job Creation in the current administration in the state.