By Ushang Ewa
The transport fares within the city of Calabar, the Cross River State capital which hiked by 100 percent on Tuesday as reported by CrossRiverWatch is due to an alleged face-off between the Cross River State Government and the state chapter of the Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (PMAN) findings reveal.
Normal rates of NGN50 per drop increased to NGN100 while the distances which as at yesterday cost between NGN100 and NGN150 increased to between NGN150 and NGN200.
Sources blame the situation on a face-off between PMAN and the state with PMAN directing fueling stations to shut down until certain issues including multiple taxation and harassment of staff by ‘thugs’ and ‘agents’ employed by government are addressed.
A highly placed government official told our correspondent that an aide to the Governor “forcibly” collected the sum of NGN80,000 from a member of PMAN without reasonable explanation which a marketer who preferred anonymity confirmed to CrossRiverWatch.
No official statement has been released by both parties with the phone lines of the Commissioner for Petroleum Resources, Itaya Nyong not connecting as at press time.
Black marketers as earlier reported by CrossRiverWatch have also increased the price of Premium Motor Spirit from NGN200 to between NGN250 and NGN300.
The state government has been accused of arbitrary and multiple taxation despite public pronouncements by the Governor, Senator Ben Ayade that taxation is not the solution to the financial constraints been faced by the state.
However, new boards, agencies and commissions created by him in the past one year have become noted for their nose for tax.
“The Carbon Emissions Board has almost become synonymous with the word taxation, because they have levies for vehicles, restaurants that cook with firewood or use generators and what have you,” said Bassey Essien (not actual name).
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