The Enugu State Government has banned the collection of levies and tolls along state highways and roads by individuals or groups of individuals purportedly acting on behalf of the government.
This was revealed in a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, on Monday in Enugu.
Onyia said the state government noted with utmost displeasure the activities of those who constituted nuisance on Enugu roads and deployed all manner of crude tactics to extort money from vehicles transporting goods, farm produce and livestock in the state.
This, he said, was being carried out in the name of collection of levies and tolls on behalf of the government.
He said that such anti-business activities of syndicates operating on the state highways and roads were contrary to the current government’s determination to dismantle obstacles to the ease of doing business in the state.
He said: “The current administration of His Excellency, Governor Peter Mbah shall not pay lip service to its stated commitment to expand the Enugu economy sevenfold by promoting economic activities, enabling private sector investments, offering incentives to boost the productive sectors such as agricultural and agro-allied activities in the state.
“Those willing to engage in lawful economic and business activities in our state shall be encouraged to do so as they are beneficial to the state.”
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Onyia said that the state government was also taking steps to eliminate multiple and illegal taxation in the state, including collection of taxes and revenues by individuals via cash payments, manual issuance of receipts and paper tickets.
According to him, the government is convinced that tax and revenue collection must be convenient and friendly via technology while addressing leakages.
He added that those involved in the criminal activities were, by the announcement, put on notice to quit all highways and roads within the state as failure to comply would attract severe consequences.
Onyia said the ban takes effect immediately, adding that a task force had been constituted to enforce the ban.
“Henceforth, anyone caught in the illegal act shall be prosecuted and please be guided accordingly,” he said.