Illegal Levies/Multiple Taxation: State Assembly sets up special c’tee to investigate Marian Market

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…C’River Assembly adopts motion on illegal levies, multiple taxation in Marian Market

The Cross River State House of Assembly has adopted a motion under a matter of urgent public interest to investigate and stop alleged cases of illegal levies, multiple taxation, violence and brutalisation of traders by market managers in the popular Marian market, Calabar NEGROIDHAVEN can say.

The motion followed a petition from the National Union of Shop and Distributive Employees (NUSDE) titled, “complaints of crisis and atrocious activities orchestrated by Emmanuel Mbora and Edim Imok at Ika Ika Market: A call for urgent intervention.”

The Union in their petition outlined several allegations against the market managers, ranging from illegal levies, multiple taxation, violence and brutalisation of traders, adding that petty traders are made to pay as much as N1370 daily on tolls.

In their separate reactions, members of the House seriously condemned the situation, emphasising that it was inimical to the “people first” mantra of the present administration of the state governor, Bassey Otu. They also emphasised that it was barbaric for people to brutalise others in the name of revenue collection. They unanimously voted for a committee to investigate the matter with a view to solving the crisis.

Consequently, a 7-man committee was set up to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the crisis in the market. The committee was given about 10 days to report back to the House for subsequent action.

Meanwhile, the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Elvert Ayambem, commended the lawmakers for their concern for the citizenry, reaffirming that the House will not tolerate the recalcitrant behaviour of the market managers. He added that anyone who disobeys the laws of the state will face appropriate sanctions.

“This is the People’s Assembly, what affects the people affects the House directly. We will not tolerate the recalcitrant behaviour of anybody. The House will ensure that anybody who goes against the laws of the land will be punished,” he said.