The governor of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has once more become the subject of intensive scrutiny following his tax schemes.
There was commotion last Friday at Kings Planet International School as armed security personnel entered the building under the guise of demanding tax payment, Daily Post reported.
Additionally, Awka food vendors have criticized the excessive tax levied against them and threatened to cease operations in Anambra if the practice is not stopped.
On Tuesday, the management of Kingsplanet International School, Awka, protested the actions of the security personnel, claiming that some of the school’s staff and students had been bullied and traumatized.
Further information obtained by Daily Post, revealed that the incident took place last Friday when a team from the Anambra State Signage Agency entered the school accompanied by armed security guards to impose the payment of N100,000 for the school’s signage.
Some members of staff of the school, from the creche, nursery and primary section, confirmed the incident to Daily Post who visited the location, stating that the school was in session last weekend, when the tax enforcement team arrived.
“Because they were carrying guns, we decided to close the doors of the classrooms, to avoid the children seeing gun-wielding security men barging into the school premises, but the security men forced the classroom rooms open and commanded all the children to leave, saying that they have orders to shut the school.
“All the children were crying and running helter-skelter, including the creche section, which consists of very tender kids, but they showed no mercy at all.
“In the process of the pandemonium in the school, there was power outage, but we tried to put on the generator, so we can use the CCTV in the school to monitor the movement of the children, but the security men refused,” said Modesta Odu, a teaching staff of the school.
The assistant manager of the school, Mr. Emmanuel Emeka, also said, “We begged them not to go ahead with their action as it will traumatize the kids, but they refused. You needed to be here to see how security men overran this place.
“Most parents who heard of it moved in to withdraw their children. Up till this moment, some of the children still feel bad when we have visitors in the school. We had to reach out to some parents to beg them to bring back their children.
“We are really disappointed if this is how the Soludo government intends to go about tax. The team were in our school earlier to demand payment of N100,000 for four signboards. We told them we didn’t have up to that number of signboards, so they left, saying they will verify and get back, and the next thing we saw was the security men.”
When the Managing Director of ANSAA, Mr. Tony Ujubuonu, he told Daily Post that the enforcement was due to a court order acquired against the school.
He claimed that the school’s owner had been criticizing the agency on social media over the enforcement, but that the Anambra State government would not give up on seeing to it that the correct thing was done.
Meanwhile, Anambra State’s food vendors on Thursday protested the high taxes the state government had levied on them. If the government maintained the tax system, the traders threatened to stop providing commodities to the state. When they imported food into the state, they claimed that the state government levied high tariffs on them.
During a peaceful demonstration on Thursday, Mr. Chukwuemeka Onyemechi, the chairman of the Eke Awka Foodstuff Dealers Association, claimed that some hoodlums who were allegedly working with government agents came to the market and prevented people from unloading their goods unless they paid N30,000 per truck rather than N8,000.
“They also insisted that we pay N20,000 for a truck with six tyres as against N5,000 and the sum of N6,000 for a Datsun truck as against N500 per truck. After the off-loading of goods, smaller trucks were forced to pay N3,000 as against N300 before the goods would be allowed to leave the market,” he lamented.
The vendors, according to Onyemechi, would not be the first to complain about the tax policies of the State government.