Fuel Subsidy: Awka CCIMA Tasks FG on Tax Reduction to Save Businesses

By Michael Nnebife

The President, Awka Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Princess Caroline Ajuora, has appealed to the Federal Government to cut down the prevailing tax rates on businesses across the country to cushion what she describes as the devastating effects of petroleum subsidy removal on the people and business operations.

The president made the appeal during a media chat in her office in Awka recently.

Princess Ajuora, who spoke through the Director General of the Chamber, Mr Valentine Agulue, expressed displeasure over the Federal Government’s dive into implementation of fuel subsidy removal now people and businesses were struggling to survive.

She lamented the impact of the policy on members of the Chamber, saying, ‘Marginal Awka CCIMA groans just like any person in Nigeria today.

‘The fact remains we can’t meet up, the policy implementation now is affecting every facet of the economy.

‘However, removal of subsidy is one of the good things that can happen to Nigeria; but the issue is that there are no palliative measures as a coping mechanism for people. That is why people are groaning.

‘So, as Awka CCIMA, we feel bothered and concerned as our members are complaining and struggling to survive.

‘Therefore, we urge the  Federal Government to go down on taxes – if businesses still pay, for instance, the same N5 as a tax when fuel pump price was N250, now the price is almost N600 – no doubt, the effect is overbearing.

‘Let the Federal Government make its policies and programmes wear a humane and human face for people.

‘We know that the subsidy removal (proposal) had been before the present government – so, let the government leverage what is within its power to make things a bit more okay for people,’ the president urged.

While baring his mind on the proposed 40% increase in electricity tariff in the country, Princess Ajuora advised the government to leave the tariff rate on what it was presently for the sake of small and medium scale enterprises that, she said, were currently struggling with harsh economic conditions.

She however expressed satisfaction with the level of improvement in power supply as it was in Anambra State and enjoined the government to do more towards achieving a 24-hour power supply in the nation.

She commended the State Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, for his achievements so far in area of infrastructure and human capital development in the state.

According to her, ‘Awka Chamber, as a matter of fact, is happy with Prof Charles Soludo. He is really working with the tax payers’ money.

‘We in Awka Chamber will keep on being in the forefront for people to pay taxes so that government will have fund to work,’ she said.

Describing the chamber as a movement that comprised professionals from various fields of human endeavour, Ajuora called on the public in small scale businesses, among others, to join the chamber to enable them to tap the huge benefits it had for the members.