By Jonathan Ugbal
Members of the Cross River State chapter of the Delivery Vehicle Owners and Drivers Association of Nigeria (DELVAN) are currently protesting what they say is a difficult tax system imposed on them by the Cross River State government.
Over 50 vehicles of different sizes were lined up along Leopard Town road with about 100 members blocking the main entrance of the Governor’s office in Calabar, the Cross River State capital with the members bearing different banners with inscriptions calling on the Government to save them from multiple taxations that makes them pay up to NGN3,000 per day.
“Say no to double, multiple and illegal taxation”, read one of the banners displayed by the members who keep chanting “we no go gree o, we no go gree” and “taxation too much.”
The DELVAN members also chant the names of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government that tax the daily.
“They include Ministry of Transport (MOT), Commercial Transport Regulatory Agency (CTRA), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) among others,” said a DELVAN member who preferred anonymity.
They were received by the Secretary to the State Government, Tina Banku Agbor with Comrade Sabbastine Raphael Orafor, the National President of DELVAN is discussing briefly with Secret Service personnel where he said “What is been done in Cross River State is not in tandem with what is obtainable elsewhere.”
He decried the molestation from the Cross River State carbon emission board, CTRA, MOT and IRS which sees their vehicle batteries and license plates been removed. He said that over 13 subheads are been collected by Government officials whom he says may not be sent by the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade whom he described as “friendly.”
He accused the Government of using one NCJ worldwide consults to inflict injuries on them as some of their members are brutalized by the consultants and wondered why permits obtained in Cross River were honored across the country but those obtained elsewhere are not honored by the Cross River Government.
The SSG assured the team that she will communicate their grievances to the Governor and pledged that a committee set up by the Governor will look into the matter. Accompanied by the Commissioner for Finance, Ekpenyong Asuquo, she urged them to “go about your usual business.”
Cross River Governor, Senator Ben Ayade had earlier abolished taxation for low and no income earners with a bill passed by the assembly to this effect, assented to by him last year in a media event.
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