The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kaduna State chapter, has condemned the arbitrary taxes imposed on the people by the Governir Nasir el-Rufai-led government.
In a statement by the state Publicity Secretary on Friday evening, Mr Abraham Alberah Catoh, the party said, “The world over, taxes are a major source of revenues for the government used in providing developmental projects, and Kaduna State cannot be an exception. Which is why citizens have the right to challenge their government to be accountable and transparent in the provision of developmental infrastructures and services.
“However, a humane government considers the economic realities of her citizens before such taxes and levies are charged on them.”
According to the statement, “In Kaduna State, workers are sacked without payment of their entitlements, farmers can no longer go to their farms and return home safe because of kidnappings and killings by bandits, markets and business entities have been demolished without providing alternatives to owners of these businesses.
“If all of these misnomers are the order of the day, how does the government expect the citizens to be able to afford to pay these taxes?”
The statement further explained that, “In the near past, the Kaduna State Government had introduced similar taxes on owners of houses, borehole owners and even petty traders.
“Instead of the government to be more serious on its cardinal responsibility of maintaining law and order by decimating these criminal elements, they are over stretching and strangulating the socio-economic base of the citizens.
“People’s houses have been burnt down, they can’t go to their farms, and most of them are in the IDPs without source of livelihood, they are being fed by good Samaritans from the members of the public.
“How does the government intends to collect taxes/levies on people struggling to pay ransom for their loved ones that have been kidnapped?
“The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is not in any way against the government’s policy on development levies and taxes, but the timing is wrong because the socio-economic base of the people is weak and fragile that it cannot be able to shoulder such additional burden.
“Socio-economic development can never be achieved under these circumstances!
“The party calls for a reversal of these arbitrary taxes imposed on the citizens of the State and encourages the government to bring out policies and programmes that would turn around the economic fortunes of the people of the state that are expected to pay the taxes and levies.
“The government should know that it is one thing to impose a tax, but a different thing to successfully collect the tax.”