The Imo State Government has banned the collection of levies and taxes on traders until the end of this year. Governor Owelle Okorocha disclosed this during an interactive meeting he held with the traders at the government House, Owerri. He further stated that government will provide a N50 million interest free revolving loan to Imo traders.
He said the suspension of all levies will enable government to reform all taxation laws and ensure that all levies are accounted for. “Currently, most taxes and levies end up in private pockets and that is unacceptable”
Governor Okorocha said the loan will assist all traders to succeed, adding that his government has plans to give a face lift to all the four markets within the Owerri metropolis and build additional new one to provide space for those presently without stalls.
Governor Okorocha also informed the traders that in the last one year in office, he has introduced free education from primary to university, implemented N20,000 minimum wage for Imo civil servants and paid 12 years arrears of pension to the Imo pensioners. Others are the ongoing construction of 27 general hospitals in all the local government areas of the state, construction of new primary school buildings in the 305 NEC wards in the state, completion of Imo liaison office Abuja, etc.
He further said that he has attracted two new universities to Imo State – the Loyola Jesuit University and the Imo European University, stressing that his government has concluded plans to build a marine university at Oguta. On security, Owelle said that his administration has reduced the spate of kidnapping in the state. He solicited the support of the traders to his administration and the 4th tier government which he said is an avenue to bring back power to the people and strengthen economic development through rural agriculture practices.
Responding, the President of the Market association, Mr Chukwudi Onuoha thanked the governor for his developmental strides in the state and for the reception accorded them.