9 November 2012

Nigeria: Spare Parts Dealers Protest Illegal Levies in Anambra

Awka — No fewer than 500 traders from the popular spare parts market at Ugwuagba, Obosi yesterday stormed Government House, Awka, to protest alleged exorbitant levies being imposed on them by authorities of the market.

Some of the placards carried by the traders read: "No, to market executives' incessant levies;" "We say no to corruption, multiple taxation" and "Too many levies are killing us."

Leader of the group, Mr. Titus Aninwa, told the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, who addressed them that some people who claimed to be government agents invade the market on daily basis to demand all kinds of levies.

According to him, the agents often make it difficult for traders to offload containers that bring in their imported goods.

He said: "We want to remind these people that nobody has monopoly of violence. We have great respect for our amiable governor, Mr. Peter Obi and we do not want these people to cause disaffection between us and government.

"We have come to appeal to the government to intervene in this matter to avert breakdown of law and order at the Ugwuagba Obosi market."

The traders, through their counsel, Mr. Ndubuisi Onwuka, had already petitioned Governor Peter Obi, speaker of the State House of Assembly and the Divisional Police Officer for Awada on the issue.

Addressing the traders, the SSG told them that what they had done was constitutional and commended them for being peaceful in their attempt to get government's attention.

He assured them that the state government would not support anybody to collect illegal levies, adding that government would address the issues they raised.

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