Governor Peter Obi
By Charles Onyekamuo
Anambra State Government has introduced a N3,000 a year Personal Income Tax (PIT) pro-rata for all categories of traders in the markets across the state as a way of shoring up the state government’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Hitherto, traders in the state reportedly shunned the payment of taxes even as taxes by civil servants in the state are deducted at source through the Pay-As-You-Earn (P.A.Y.E.) system.
The state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr. Robert Okonkwo, who dropped the hint in a media briefing at Awka, said government had done an enumeration of all the market stalls in the state and, after meetings with market leaders, had agreed to dispense with revenue contractors, who, he noted, had been short-changing it by under-declaring what they collected as revenue.
To this end, the market leaders, he said, had been mandated to be collecting N1,800 a year stallage fees for a full shop, N900 for half a shop and N450 for a quarter shop, as development levy per trader.
“Somebody is expected to pay 10 per cent of his income as tax. In the market it is impossible to know how much a person realises because there is no accurate data. We agreed to surcharge a flat fee of N3000 as tax. Totality of what is to be collected now is N6,000 per trader. Only two years in arrears were considered. We agreed with the market executives after a joint meeting”, he said.
The state government, Okonkwo said, would rebuild the Bridge Head market in Onitsha gutted by fire about a week ago and may relocate the market to another site thereafter. He said the state government was looking at 100 per cent increase in revenue from the markets from what it used to be before the revenue contractors were jettisoned.