Traders Protest In Abuja Over Tax

Reports just coming in indicate that hundreds of traders
staged a peaceful protest in Abuja on Thursday, 21
August, 2014 over imposition of multiple taxes on them
by Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
According to a report published by the News Agency of
Nigeria, NAN, the protest, facilitated by the Civil Society
Legislative and Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), was staged at
the gate of the Area Council with some traders and
officials of the centre displaying placards and chanting
war songs.
Mr. Abubakar Jimoh, CISLAC’s Information and
Communication Officer, disclosed that the protest was
necessitated by AMAC’s refusal to reverse the trend after
several correspondences.
Jimoh stated that female traders suffered some level of
intimidation in the hands of officials of the council in the
process of enforcing the payment of such taxes.
“This protest is informed by the unfair tax regime on
Abuja traders by AMAC.
“As a civil society group, the traders came to us for help
and that’s what we are doing.
“It is unfair to subject struggling traders to undefined
multiple taxes even when they find it difficult to make
ends meet,” he said.
He urged authorities of the area council to address the
situation in the interest of peace in Abuja.
In his reaction to the protests, AMAC’s Vice Chairman,
Mr. Musa Goza, denied the existence of such taxation.
Goza informed the protesting traders that tax collection
was contracted out to a consultant and assured the
protesters that the situation would be investigated.
He advised CISLAC to liaise with markets in the FCT to
get detailed information on such taxes and forward same to
the area council for action.
“Our tax collection is done by a consultant; we have heard
this kind of complaint in the past but we did not get any
proof.
“I urge you to liaise with the various markets to know the
situation so that we can address the issue once and for all,”
he said.
One of the protesters, Mrs. Augustina David, a trader in
Karu Market, said the multiple taxes being demanded from
them had made business difficult.
“The way they are taxing us is too much and we are not
seeing what they are doing with it.
“They have this habit of arbitrarily increasing the tax
without prior notice and we want government to come to
our aid,” she said.
Another trader from Karimu Market, Mr. Ade Adex, said
the taxes were being collected by different undefined
groups.
“In my own area, different groups come to collect taxes
and when we pay, we do not see what they do with it.
“The road to our market is not motorable for a long time
and we have been paying taxes; government should come
to our aid,” he said.

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