The Managing Director Anambra State Signage and Advertisement Agency ( ANSAA ) Mr.Jude Emecheta says that government lost about N500 million revenue to the coronavirus pandemic.
Emecheta explained that revenue generation was hampered by the COVID-19 lockdown which lasted about 4 months and businesses according to him were shutdown coupled with the prevailing physical distancing protocol being enforced to contain the spread of the pandemic in the state.
He said, ” For 4 good months most shops were shutdown. Most businesses were shutdown. These are the businesses that pay you your revenue. Again there was no movement. There was a lockdown. We couldn’t go out to chase money because there is physical distancing. So we couldn’t generate any money at that point.So the pandemic really affected us.”
” From my agency alone,I can tell you that governnent lost about 500 million naira because you can’t recoup it. You can only plan for next year to work hard again. It will take another 4 months for businesses to pick up again.”
Emecheta said that the agency was currently on massive enforcement through the courts and through physical interactions to pursue its revenue generation for the remaining part of the year. He noted that people were willing to pay but they also pleaded for time to recover from the losses of the COVID-19 lockdown.
Although he said that there was a level of compliance but emphasized also that the agency has about 200 debtor cases to prosecute in court, noting that Onitsha, Awka and some other areas were flashpoints where officials of the agency find it rather difficult to enforce revenue compliance due to youth restiveness.
He also disclosed that the agency has commenced house-numbering across the state with the aim of capturing about 200,000 houses to generate revenue for the state government.
The essence of the residential enumeration according to him was to transform Anambra state into a smart city which could be navigated through Google map.