STREET traders in Anambra State have cried out to the state government to come to their rescue over illegal payment of excessive taxation.
The traders under the umbrella of Anambra Street Traders Welfare Association of Nigeria (ASTWAN) which comprised about 19 unions alleged that some hoodlums have taken advantage of government good gesture of creating an enabling environment for businesses to collect one levy or the other, all in the name of generating state revenue.
However, in a meeting organised by ASTWAN at Cana House, Awka, the chairman of the organization, Anthony Ebogha, who poured out his grievances towards the excessive payment, called on the state government to come to their rescue to checkmate those who claimed to be revenue agents and as well, help in reducing the revenue to a minimum level that the lowest traders could afford.
Ebogha appealed to Governor Willie Obiano to consider traders in the state by instigating loan schemes like soft loans, small scale loan to enable business dealers grow.
Addressing the traders, the Director of Small and Medium Enterprise, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Anambra State, Okwudili Obiefuna, reminded the traders that government is doing everything possible to ensure there is an enabling environment for business dealing, assuring them that government would still do something to provide a conducive atmosphere for businesses.
Obiefuna used the opportunity to explain to them that, “the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) mandated all the Commercial Banks to set aside 5 percent of their annual income after tax to enable business people gain well. because, they want to empower business community”.
He regretted,” we have maximum loan of N10million initiative going on for some time now which both western and northern parts of the country have benefited from but unfortunately, the southeast does not known about it or accessed it”.
The director therefore revealed that the ministry is taking every necessary measure before disbursing the loan to anyone who meets up with the criteria to ensure that the money goes to the right people. “We are looking for people with good business mindset so that there would be no mis management”.