Traders protest higher taxes in Kuje

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ABUJA, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 – Traders Association in Kuje Area Council, FCT on Friday took to the streets to protest the increase in taxation by the authorities.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who monitored the protest in Kuje reports that shops along major streets in the council were shut.

Mr Uche Nwokedi, the acting chairman of the association said members of the association had taken to the streets to protest increment in taxation from N3,000 to N36,000.

Nwokedi said the protest was also to express the association’s displeasure over the use of force and touts by the consultant engaged by the Area Council to collect the taxes.

According to him, some members of the association were on Thursday taken to court by the consultant for failure to pay what the traders called ‘ outrageous tax’.

He said the use of the court to introduce higher taxes instead of dialogue was not in the best interest of the traders and the council.

“Most of us, including those taken to court paid our taxes since January and we have our receipts with us.

“The consultant has not engaged us before coming up with this outrageous taxes and we will resist it,” he said.

Alhaji Abdullahi Galadima, Chairman, Kuje Area Council addressing the protesters said the council was not aware that some members of the association were taken to court by the consultant.

He expressed dismay over the action adding that the consultant has not been legally engaged to collect taxes on behalf of the council.

“The consultant approached us when we advertised and we only had an oral agreement with him to go out and see how he could convince and dialogue with the people to collect the taxes.

“Our agreement with him is on temporary basis. He has not been fully engaged by the council because no document has been given to him.

“This administration is committed to the protection of the right of all residents. So, issues like this, engagements and town hall meeting are what is needed,” he said.

The council chairman who ordered the withdrawal of the cases in court urged the traders to be calm and go about their normal businesses.

He said the consultant has been cautioned against the use of force and touts to collect revenue.

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