The Anambra State government has been urged to once again consider the debilitating issue of multiple taxation by several of its agencies operating without coordination.
Delegation from the Anambra/Ebonyi/Enugu branch of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) made the appeal during a courtesy call on Gov Willie Obiano at the governor’s Lodge, Awka yesterday.
The leader of the delegation and Branch President, Chief Aloysius Okafor commended the administration’s rapid industrialization drive.
He explained they also came in solidarity with the state government in its bid to transform the state.
They also wished to draw government’s attention to critical issues hampering their operation, some of which included:
1. multiple taxation,
2. epileptic power supply
3. poor infrastructure in existing industrial clusters and,
4. their non-involvement in industrial policy formulation processes.
The vice Chairman of the Branch, Chief Chris Chidume also advocated constant interaction between them and the government.
That will ensure that the manufacturers, who are critical stakeholders in job and wealth creation, are given the desired platform to operate maximally.
The governor disclosed that the government has started to open bids for Expression of Interest from world-class developers for the proposed development of an auto-industrial layout on the 155 hectares of land it acquired at the Akwaihedi, Unubi and Uga axis of the State.
He revealed that the state government has also acquired lands in Idemili and Ekwusigo Council Areas.
He said the Akwaihedi Project when completed, will serve as a model for the kind of industrial estates that his administration envisioned and such will possess the necessary infrastructure for industries to thrive in the state.
Gov Obiano said that he recognises the key role the private sector plays in the realization of his industrialization agenda.
He noted that his administration has sustained its efforts at supporting private investors to seek business opportunities in the state.
Hestated that through the Anambra State Investment Protection and Promotion(ANSIPPA), it has instituted a workable structure which guarantees that investors and their host communities get maximum benefits for investments.
He maintained that his administration has banned the use of agents for revenue collection.
Meanwhile, illegal tax and levies collectors are being clamped down on to avoid multiple taxation.
He urged the manufacturers to key into the industrialization drive of his government and explore virgin areas of partnership with the State government.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Finance, Industry, Innovations & Development Finance Institutions, Mr Ifeatu Onejeme made acknowledgements.
He said that the meeting was in line with the administration’s efforts at institutionalizing gainful engagement with the organised private sector towards the development of the state.
He revealed that as part of its initiative to encourage manufacturers in the state, the present administration is working to domesticate the Federal Industrial Policy to enable industrialists develop long-term plans with huge economic benefits.
He also directed the harmonisation of the Tax and Levies Schedule of the state and local governments to avoid multiple taxation.
The Commissioner for Lands, Mr Okey Muoka revealed that it is the policy of the state government under its investment trust, to process land titles for investors with dispatch.
He further assured the group that government will readily avail them the necessary support they require to make them invest in the state.
Chuks Collins, Awka