“It is becoming a worrisome trend, there are so many taxes levied on businesses.”
The Civil Liberties Organisation said it may resort to court action if necessary steps were not taken by the Bayelsa State Government to stop multiple taxation on businesses in the state.
The Chairman of the CLO in the state, Nengi James, said on Wednesday that it was unfortunate that small scale businesses were subjected to multiple taxes from several groups and government establishment.
Mr. James stated this during an advocacy visit to the Federated Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Bayelsa. He described the situation as ‘Tax Injustice’.
“It is becoming a worrisome trend, there are so many taxes levied on businesses.
“For example, these Keke Napep operators, they have to pay for stickers and taxes to local government, Ministry of Transport, unions and so on daily; so many and it is uncalled for and illegal, most of them.
“To make matters worse, police extort money from them too. So, we are calling on government to address this issue. We will take this mater seriously.
“If the government fails to tackle the problem, maybe we will take legal action and head to court to reverse the situation,” Mr. James said.
On the insecurity in parts of the country, the CLO Chairman called on the Federal Government and security agencies to take effective measures in tackling the menace.
He charged the government to be alive to its responsibility of protecting lives and property of citizens.
He further advocated the creation of job opportunities to address the incidence of kidnapping in the state. He called for the establishment of the Bayelsa State Oil Producing Area Development Commission.
According to him a certain percentage of the 13% derivation funds would be ploughed back to oil bearing communities through the proposed commission to address development needs of the people.
Mr. James also drew the attention of the Federal Government and the Ministry of Education to the plight of Nigerian students studying abroad.
He stated that most of the students were suffering in countries like Malaysia, Ukraine and Russia as they constantly battle with delays in remittance of their scholarship grants.
Responding, the Chairman of the Federated Correspondent Chapel of the NUJ, Samuel Ese, said multiple taxation was detrimental to the growth of small and medium enterprises.
He decried the frequent harassment and extortion by the police who mount road blocks and make commercial motorists part with money.
On the increasing spate of kidnapping, Mr. Ese called on youth especially those in the Niger Delta region who benefitted from the Federal Government Amnesty Programme to make best use of their newly acquired skills to become self reliant.
He advocated a close synergy between wealthy individuals and government to establish industries in other to create jobs for the teeming populace.
The FCC Chairman urged the Federal Government to take a firm stance against the Boko Haram insurgents.
He asked civic groups to support the government and security agencies in their quest to defeat the insurgents.