By Ugochukwu Alaribe
UMUAHIA—Abia State government has ordered the leadership of the Traders Association at the Ekeoha Shopping Centre, Aba, to refund illegal levies collected from traders at the market.Governor Ikpeazu
Vanguard gathered that the market leaders had collected sums ranging from N100,000 to N150,000 per shop from the traders in the guise of constructing a flower pot, access road and other projects in the market.
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In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka, the state government explained that the only levy approved by the government across the markets in the state is N18,000, which covers ASEPA, ABSAA, Stallage, Fire Service Operations, PPIDF, personal income tax and business premises.
Describing the collection as a “brazen display of illegality and impunity” by the leadership of the traders association, who issued demand notices with deadlines for payment, the statement explained that the N18,000 levy is payable only once in a year.