The Chairman of Cross River state Anti-tax Agency, Bishop Emmah Gospel Isong, has lauded cyclists in the state for reciprocating the anti-tax policy of the Governor Ben Ayade’s administration by embarking on fixing of bad spots and potholes in some streets in Calabar metropolis.
Our reporter who monitored the exercise said many cyclists in the metropolis had, early Monday, trooped to some streets to fix bad spots as a mark of appreciating the state government for exempting low income earners, including cyclist/keke riders, petty traders, artisans amongst others from every form of levy and taxation.
Addressing a cross section of cyclists in 8 miles axis of the metropolis, Bishop Isong, who is also the National Publicity Secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, and presiding Bishop of the Calabar-based Christian Central Chapel Int’l (CCCI) said it was good that those who were directly affected by the harsh tax regime of the past were now having a feeling that government cared.
While making some cash donations to the group to help them buy some materials like cement, sand and gravel for the work, the Anti tax chief said, “I have to thank you most sincerely for using this kind gesture to say ‘thank you’ to His Excellency for exempting you from taxation. We are happy that at least no one is extorting money from you unduly again.
“We will continue to ensure no low income earner is made to pay any form of illegal levies in Cross River, and please don’t fail to call our toll free hotlines, 07026105177, if any one harasses you with tickets or any form of levy.”
He further explained that his agency had received the backing of all the arms of government to end illegal and multiple taxes and levies in the state especially as regards low income earners, and that the agency was working in line with the 2015 Cross River State Tax Exemption Law.
“We have a mobile court in place with a prosecutor attached to us. It is a serious crime for anybody to use illegal levies and taxes to oppress Cross Riverians who owned small shops, keke riders, petty traders, market women, cyclists, taxi drivers and every category of low income earners. Illegal taxation will end in Cross River state so that investors would come in to help grow the economy of the State,” he said assuredly
The leader of the excited cyclists, Efiok Ekpenyong Efiok, who spoke in an interview with our reporter, prayed God to bless the Governor for having the welfare of the low income earners at heart, saying cyclists in the state would continue to reciprocate government’s gesture in their own little way.
Efiok however appealed to the state government to try and focus attention on fixing potholes in the metropolis, saying the rainy season has rendered some streets un-motorable and that the condition of roads was affecting their businesses. He said a spot in Agrofeeds road in 8 miles axis was at the verge of cutting off the road into two and therefore urged the government to do something about such bad spots before it becomes too late.