Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia
With the 2022 fiscal policy already being implemented, the Abia State Government has fixed its eyes on raking in more revenues from the various markets across the state to enhance its internally generated revenue (IGR).
To optimize the revenue potentials of the markets the newly inaugurated market leaders are expected to ensure that revenues collected from the markets were not exposed to leakages.
The Abia State Commissioner for Trade and Investment, John Okiyi Kalu, harped on government’s revenue expectations from the markets while inaugurating the new leadership committees for the various markets at the state secretariat, Umuahia.
He advised the committees appointed by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to fully key into the electronic revenue collection system in the state to plug all points of leakages.
He warned against multiple taxation and imposition of unapproved levies on traders, adding that such illegalities were inimical to the growth of commerce and must be stopped forthwith.
The trade and investments commissioner noted that Abia has comparative advantage in trade and commerce hence the need for market leaders to make the state economically viable.
“Market leaders must key into the developmental agenda of Governor Ikpeazu who is determined to totally re-write the story of Abia State using trade and invetsment as a major pillar of his administration,” he said.
According to him, Governor Ikpeazu has continued to rehabilitate many roads that are of socioeconomic importance to the state “simply because he cares about the welfare of our traders (though) he owns no shop anywhere in the world”.
He called on the market leaders to partner with the state government in delivering more dividends of democracy to the traders warning that whoever is found wanting in the discharge of his or her duties will be promptly removed and replaced.
“Governor Ikpeazu is not relenting in his quest to continue to deliver better life to our people across board, hence, his determination to remodel some key markets in the state. It is either you are ready to partner with him to promote the welfare of our people or be ready to be shipped out,” he said.
The commissioner directed the newly inaugurated market leaders to immediately put measures in place in their various markets to prevent fire outbreaks and install functional overhead water tanks to enable easy access to water for fire trucks should the need arise.
The President of the Abia State Amalgamated Traders Association(ASMATA), Mr. Lucky Akubuwze, who spoke on behalf of the newly inaugurated market leaders, thanked Governor Ikpeazu for giving them the opportunity to serve the state.
He expressed his commitment to work in harmony with the government and leaders of the various markets, for the growth and progress of trade and commerce in the state.