By Jude Atupulazi
In its continued drive to increase the internally generated revenue profile of the state, the Anambra State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, has come out with a new regime of taxes for mourners in the state. According to a memo addressed to the National Peresident of Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU) which was signed by the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Anambra State Signage and Advertisment Agency, Mr Tony Odili Ujubuon͂u, mourners will in some instances pay up to N100,000 to publish obituary posters for deceased persons.
The letter, entitled, ”Regulation of ceremonial adverts,” explained that the agency would work in partnership with ASATU to recover the taxes as sources of internally generated revenue and to curb the menace of non-commercial adverts in the state.
The memo read party, “The tariff below serves as a guide to what is payable; sizes, description, amount and duration of the taxes are: 4 X 6FT N5,000 for 2 weeks; 8 X 10FT N20,000 for 2 weeks; above 10FT square are N100,000 monthly; and N5000 for posters for 2 weeks.
“Note that directional signs leading to the venue which can come in 1x 2ft size will not be charged. It is also important to bear in mind that after the duration of this period, any such board that is left standing will attract a penalty in the sum of the amount initially paid. This penalty is paid weekly.
“The Agency, in fulfillment of its statutory obligation, is not unmindful of the menace associated with non-commercial adverts that have literally occupied our out-of-home space. These adverts come in the form of obituary, religious, wedding and sundry flex, banners and posters.
“These materials tend to deface the environment and pose a threat to the aesthetics of our communities. In line with Mr. Governor’s avowed aim of building a prosperous, livable and smart city state in Anambra, the Agency sees the need to regulate the use of these materials in manners that are decent and orderly.”
The government said because it was a phenomenon associated with all the communities and villages in Anambra State, the process would be administered in partnership with the town unions; even as the government hoped that the town unions would take up the responsibility of informing the villages and hamlets.
“Others to be informed are kindreds, churches and any such bodies within their towns that from the 1st of November, 2022, the Agency will begin the enforcement and collection of levies on all such posters and flexes used for any of such ceremonies. We have written to you because we have always regarded you as progress partners in the development of Anambra State,” the Anambra State Government stated in the memo.