Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state broke down in tears while addressing the state, announcing the illegal tax on the poor in the state.
On Thursday, Gov Ben Ayade lamented the plight of some of the rural poor, low-income earners who are faced with the tax burden in Cross River state.
While inaugurating the Anti-Tax Agency on Wednesday, Governor Ayade put a stop to taxation of the poor, small business owners, artisans, low-income earners, peasant farmers, among others in the state while also condemning the actions of some government officials who forcefully exact taxes from the poor.
Ayade insists that the poor must be protected and therefore charged the new Anti-Tax Agency to ensure that ‘the poor’ are exempted from paying taxes.
“Why would we expect that people who don’t have scholarship for their children, who don’t have good schools. They struggle to pay; struggle with the uniform; struggle to have security in their small businesses and struggle to get water with their boreholes…They struggle with generators and government is providing almost nothing. To come back to such people and tax them; I think this is the greatest injustice.
“I never knew that five years into office as governor, I would still find somebody who would live in a thatched house in Cross River State. I almost cried because I knew how prepared I was. But it didn’t end the way I dreamt for the state. I just think that somewhere, God will just help them. I really wish I can really help,” he said as his voice broke with emotions.
“I charge you (the Anti-Tax Agency) that this responsibility comes with it’s own troubles, you have a choice to do that which is good and the selection of this team is based on your history, it’s based on your profile ,the understanding of your closeness to God and that you will do that which is fair to all manners of people equally and fairly.
“We charge you to ensure that the poor masses of Cross River State and the small business owners do not come under the harsh hands of the desperate search for money by tax consultants”, Ayade told members of the Agency which is comprised of Christian clerics.
“Your responsibility from today going forward is to put an end to illicit taxes on people. We have a tax law here that prescribes the people who are exempted from tax. All those categories of people and those that from time to time will be so announced by the Governor; including every hotel that has less than 50 rooms in Calabar and the whole state today; are exempted from payment of taxes.”
On the categories of people exempted from paying tax in Cross River state, he said;
“We have exempted all Okada riders, taxi drivers, airport taxi drivers, small saloon owners; small catering and restaurant points popularly called Mama Put. All those people who sell basic things struggling to eke a living; they have been exempted today from paying tax. We have exempted them because it is better for me as a Governor to rather task my brain than to tax my people.”
Watch the video below:
I hope some of our politicians can emulate from this. pic.twitter.com/yk9eIjU3yW
— Lacuna (@adelacuna001) May 21, 2020