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Anambra street traders protest multiple levies

Anambra street traders protest multiple levies - Traders, the state governor, street traders, street, anambra street traders, anambra street, anambra

By Gabriel Chy Alonta

Hundreds of trad­ers, under the aegis of the Welfare Association of Nigeria (ASTWAN), Thursday morning, stormed Government House, Awka to register their displeasure over multiple and crippling levies allegedly imposed on trad­ers in the state.

The , drawn across the nooks and crannies of the state, lamented the alleged levies and appealed for the immediate intervention of , Chief Willie Obiano.

In a statement signed by the chairman and secretary of the as­sociation, Chief Anthony Ebogha and Comrade Emmanuel Njaka respectively, the traders argued that the rate of extortion of her members had reached a worri­some state.

It read in parts: “We, the mem­bers of the above union, wish to draw the attention of state gover­nor to incessant unbearable levies imposed on good citizens plying their trade in shop outlets located along the roads and streets spread across nooks and crannies of the state.

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“The levies include, Business permit; business premises; liquor; license levy; Anambra State Waste Management Agency levy; ASWAMA waste basket fee; shop and kiosk levy; signage levy. Many of the small business owners took loans with exorbitant rates from financial institutions and are finding it difficult to survive under this harsh economic climate currently bedeviling the country. They further request that the union leaders act as a middlemen between the contractors and its members for a hitch-free opera­tion.

Another union member, Engr. Kelvin Eberechukwu Nwoge, alleged that the tax collectors intimidated them and sometimes confiscated their wares, calling for more protection of the traders by the state government. Receiving the protesting traders on behalf of , the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, assured the traders that the state govern­ment would publish authorised, legitimate levies saying that all illegitimate levies would, thereby, stop and perpetrators fished out.

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“We have heard your com­plaints and pleas. We have started looking into it already because we frown at such development. The government is working to resolve it and is quite sad that some peo­ple are going about extorting trad­ers for their personal gains, which government did not approve.

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