Solution is not as easy as mentioned and there are factors that must be considered before solution becomes a success, if not, solution can turn into affliction. In Nigeria; solution must be critically assessed before it is applied because there is a systematic error and that error can turn good intentions into painful afflictions.
What is seen as solution elsewhere or where a system is right can be affliction where a system is wrong. Soludo is purely in another class where he appears to be hard to pin down with reality. You cannot rightly impose harsh taxes on the people in a country the state is irresponsible. You must find a common ground with the people.
Entirely; no state in Nigeria deserves to demand what Soludo is demanding from her citizens. A state where citizens pay for everything without any form of help from the government should not subject citizens to outrageous taxes.
Recently; there was chaos in Anambra state that was averted by the timely intervention of the state. Transporters and small businesses in Anambra state have been subjected to outrageous taxes, ranging from N15,000 to N500, even for barrow pushers. You push the barrow and pay the government that put you in that hellish condition. A government that couldn’t provide a job.
Early into Soludo’s regime; he made mention of oil revenue declining badly and gave indication that he would generate revenue for the state by taxing citizens within his jurisdiction. The promise gave birth to scorching tax regime; a move that will definitely impact Soludo’s government negatively.
Firstly; taxation is an obligation in a stable country, but outrageous taxation should not be an obligation in a struggling country like ours. Nigeria is a country in need of brave men not tax collectors and citizens should not be left to pay for the sins of the few who contributed to the decline of the country. If oil theft and corruption have damaged national revenue, Soludo must not take harming citizens for the alternative.
There is practically no economic plan set aside by the government of Governor Chukwuma Soludo to recover or stabilize the state economy. The government would instead embark on road constructions and few other visible but almost clueless policies that would not benefit the poor paying outrageous taxes he has imposed on the state. He can’t provide jobs for the citizens he is taxing.
The first attempt of the Governor to route the state of ‘Agberos’ has proved futile as ‘agberos’ have refused to stay off the roads. They have continued to extort motorists and others. Being there is a lack of will from the state security; ‘agberos’ maim and kill those that refused to pay them, leading to a remarkable lack of belief in the state security to enforce the order of the governor.
Today; the state government levy motorists as much ‘as ‘agberos’ levy them and this is the sorry condition of hustlers in Anambra state. There is nothing wrong with the governor’s decision to task Anambra people, but he should be considerate and know the government has made cost of living high. He should also know the state helps nobody’s monthly bills.
I spoke with few motorists in the state, and they were dissatisfied, even his staunch supporters were critical of him and wondering if he is really ready to go for second term. The people of Anambra voted the governor for him to make things better for them and not for them to entirely slide into a strange tax regime.
Soludo must understand that the government from the center to the end has failed to create jobs and paying such government is one of the most painful things in a country. He should consider his policies and also know that Anambra is a difficult state that hardly takes brutal or unpopular policies. They will respond in the next election term. Because they need experienced leader that can know what they want.
Soludo’s business with Anambra people has not finished, and he should be mindful of subjecting the people to harsh tax regime. He should be mindful of making the people his oil blocs. Citizens of Anambra state didn’t cause the problem Nigeria is facing today, and neither will they pay for the problem.
Chris Mbaka writes from Imo State.