By: Ifeanyi Onyekachi
The Director General of Imo State Orientation Agency, ISOA, Chief Matin Opara has called on corporate bodies, hotels, manufacturing companies dealers and those in the service sector of the state economy to ensure promt payment of taxes to enable government meet its constitutional responsibility to the people.
The orientation boss who stated this on Tuesday, while speaking to the press, said that Imolites are lucky to have a sincere, determined and hard-working governor who is willing to fix the state from the overwhelming dilipidation of all infrastructure in the state.
He however noted that Imolites and those doing business in the state must join hands with the rebuild Imo government by paying their taxes and statutory levies which will increase the IGR of the state and help the government in providing social services.
Chief Opara explained that it is an aberration for the citizens to refuse to pay taxes and expect the government to perform.
He said that Imo state is in a more pathetic situation because, according to him, owing to the debt incurred by the last administration, about N1.2b is deducted monthly from the paltry N4b that accrues to State account from federal allocation.
He stated that workers’ salaries, pensions and overhead cost of the three arms of government takes almost what is left for the state after deductions, leaving capital projects which are the greatest challenge of the people, to suffer.
The DG noted that business enterprises operating in the state, companies, clients and customers also add pressure on the roads and other public infrastructure hence it behoves on them to support the government to build and maintain those infrastructure through prompt payment of taxes.
He sited examples of cement dealers who require heavy trucks to use the roads and deliver their wares as well as hotels, private schools and hospitals and those that should play a leading role in complementing the efforts of the state.
According to him, the sachet water manufacturing companies who do not only use the roads to distribute their goods but also cause pressure on the waste management by indiscriminate dumping of the sachets water nylons by their customers, adding that everybody must be involved in improving the IGR because, according to him, payment of taxes is like one investing in ones business.
The Orientation boss, wondered why hoteliers, private schools, night clubs owners, supermarkets and even hospitals should not be itching to pay their taxes without prompting since they directly benefit from the tax payment.
Moreso, when the government of governor Emeka Ihedioha has shown transparency, due-process and commitment to use every penny for the purpose it was meant for.
He regretted that though Imo state is rated high in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), it is placed almost at lowest level in IGR generation.
He attributed the poor IGR generation to most business operators in the state who have refused to pay a dime as tax to the government since 2015.
He said it is an act of sabotage for such entities to make their monies without remitting to government what is due to her in form of tax
Chief Opara assured Imo people that the Single Treasury Account (TSA) introduced by the rebuild Imo government will drastically reduce diversion of tax payment.
He therefore urged them to comply with the system.