In a stunning display of indifference amidst economic struggles, the Enugu State Internal Revenue Service has callously chosen to burden task traders in the State by raising taxes, casting a shadow over their already precarious livelihoods.
In a memo signed by the board’s Executive Chairman, Emmanuel Ekene Nnamani, the State Government ordered all persons and business owners to pay their taxes, which have recently been increased.
“The Enugu State Government has commenced the e-ticketing scheme for market collections and has introduced different payment models to ensure convenience. To this end, all persons and business owners are encouraged to pay their government taxes using the e-ticketing system,” the memo stated.
Bothered by the development, traders in the state cried out to SecretsReporters, sharing tales of their dire circumstances after being unjustly burdened by the exorbitant tax hike. These hardworking individuals struggle to make ends meet and are crushed under the weight of an enormous financial demand imposed upon them.
Speaking to SecretsReporters, a business owner, Ogbonna, narrated his ordeal, saying, “We were asked to pay N7,000 (yearly) as traders to union initially. Now, the government has asked us to add the sum of N5,000 to the existing fee totaling N12,000, unfailingly this week. They also said that from 2024, each shop must pay the sum of N21,000 (yearly). We were not told the reason behind the increment; we just got information that this new change was from Enugu State.”
Another trader, Cecelia Nwafor, said, “My mum sells in Ogbete main market; she does not use government shops but containers to sell. She paid N100 weekly in the previous administration (Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi). Now, she has been asked to pay N200 DAILY, that is N1,200 weekly”.
There is a looming threat in what may send the poor into more poverty: whispers of an even steeper increase slated for the next year, promising only more misery for those already teetering on the edge of economic collapse.
“For the remaining part of the year (Oct-Dec 2023), the payment of N5,250 covers ESWAMA, LGA fees, and other Government fees. To this end, we kindly request for all business owners, market traders, and Ndi Enugu to comply with the e-ticketing system to avoid enforcement,” the memo added.
Determined to speak with a State Internal Revenue Service representative by SecretsReporters, all efforts to have their own side of the story proved abortive. Despite exerting efforts on emails sent to them for response and clarification, no reaction was gotten.