By Jonathan Ugbal
The Cross River State Government has suspended the collection of its carbon emission levy following complaints by residents.
The levy is included in the state’s carbon emission law of 2016 and has been a subject of controversy.
But, a statement signed by the Spokesman to Governor Ben Ayade, Mr. Christian Ita says the levy collection has been suspended in order to keep with ‘the present administration’s resolve not to place too much burden on residents and indigenes of the state on payment of taxes.”
The statement said Mr. Ayade “ordered the immediate suspension of collection of Carbon Emission Levy in the state.
“Consequently, all consultants and agents associated with the collection of this revenue head are hereby directed to withdraw from the field and halt their activities with effect from Thursday, 16th November, 2017.
“Members of the public are advised not to comply with any such demands henceforth.
“Note that those who fail to comply with His Excellency’s directive will be arrested and prosecuted accordingly. Be properly guided, please.”
But reports reaching CrossRiverWatch reveal that the communication to the consultant was to stay put and continue collection as they are yet to receive an official communication to stop collection.
The state is said to hold about twenty five of Nigeria’s remaining biodiversity with the protection of the forest reserves and national park sparking a controversy that delayed the 275.5 kilometers superhighway proposed by the current administration.
Mr. Ayade had argued that the state is moving with trends as the world has since left forest conservation to forest management with the Cross River National Park at various times speaking in support of the highway.
The governor later set up a Green Sheriff outfit to aid combat climate change and for forest management.
However, only the urban environmental part of the agency is functional with the Sheriff’s only supervising the evacuation of refuse across Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
With the state contingent to the United Nation’s climate change conference in Bonn, Germany returning this week, and the 2017 Carnival Calabar theme tagged; “Migration” it is expected efforts will be geared towards achieving the state’s goal in combating climate change.