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Residents commend Cross River govt over tax exemption plans

income-taxSome low income earners in Calabar have commended the state government over the proposed Executive Bill for their exemption from tax payment.
They made the commendation on Sunday in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Gov. Ben Ayade last week said he was preparing an Executive Bill to be forwarded to the state House of Assembly on tax exemption for low income earners in the state.

According to the governor, the bill shall cover commercial motorcycle riders, hawkers, petty traders and workers earning the minimum wage of N18, 000 and bellow.

A commercial motorcycle rider at Eight Miles area of Calabar, Mr Benedict Sunday, said the proposed law would give the low income earners a sense of belonging.

Sunday said the bill, if passed into law would mark the beginning of the demonstration of government’s interest in the welfare of the masses.

“If the governor does this, his administration will be the first government of the people for the people in Cross River. We are waiting for that to happen,” he said.

He said it was unfortunate that commercial motorcycle riders suffered so much in the hands of touts who masqueraded as revenue collectors.

Miss Martha Ekong, a petty trader at Etim Edem Motor Park, said that the passage of the proposed bill would bring succour to the ordinary people.

Ekong expressed hope that the bill would be sent to the state assembly and subsequently passed into law without delay.

“I hope it will work. Everyday different people come to collect between N50 and N100 for `tickets’, claiming to be working for government.

“We do not even know who they are. We are just toiling for them; sometimes after all the payments I go home with nothing left.

“There is no much profit in this recharge card business; you only make little profit from selling soft drinks and you get virtually nothing from selling biscuits”, she said.

She said daily they pay up to N500 for `tickets’ and go home with nothing.

“So, I will be very happy if the governor does that,” Ekong said.
Mr Richard Agbo, a junior staff in the state civil service also expressed happiness over the proposed law, describing it as ‘people-oriented’.

“I am looking forward to it; it will surely be the peoples”, delight Agbo said:
A public affairs analyst, Mr Edet Akpan, said the idea was good, adding that if well implemented it would boost the morale of the low income earners.

“But I think the state government should be very careful not to infringe on the right of the local governments to generate revenue.
“This is because most of these small business concerns are within the purview of the councils.

“However, I think the measure will checkmate touting in the system; it is a good idea,” Akpan said.

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