Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has granted Oredo traders a 50 per cent reduction in the yearly levy as tax waiver after their protest against an increase in the charges.
Mr. Obaseki, who was represented by his deputy, Philip Shaibu, disclosed this on Wednesday in Benin during a meeting to resolve the issue at Government House, Benin.
He assured that the newly Harmonized Local Government Tax and Levies Law would soon be amended to meet international best practices and further address the issues.
Mr. Obaseki said that the state government noted during inspection of the market that the local governments gave an equal tax levy to the traders on the size of the shops.
He said that investigations revealed that most of the original shops had been partitioned into two.
The governor further explained that though the local government acted in accordance with the law, the law also gave powers to the governor to grant tax waiver to last 25 days.
He said that those in half shops were to pay N25,000 while those in full shops would pay N40,000; those in warehouses remained in accordance with the already existing law.
He explained that with the realities on ground, the state government would urgently come up with a review draft bill of the harmonised local government taxes and levies to meet up with international best practices.
Mr. Obaseki, however, called on the traders to go back and prepare their inputs for the review bill and present same to government before sending the bill to the state assembly.
He appealed to the leaders of the traders to explain the situation to their members on the need to take advantage of the tax waiver window with the assurance that the law would be amended to resolve all the issues raised.
The leader of the Coalition of Traders and Artisans, Collins Oheziua, promised to take the message back to their people, but appealed to the government to consider more tax reduction to enable more traders to meet up with the payment.