ANAMBRA – Traditional rulers in Anambra State on Friday called for a role in the collection of taxes in their communities to fast track development in the country.
The Chairman of Anambra Central Traditional Rulers’ Council, Igwe Chukwuemeka Ilouno, made the call after a meeting held in the Anambra Central Zone in Ifitedunu community near Onitsha.
Ilouno said that the people had a cause to pay their taxes in view of the present administration’s socio-economic and infrastructure development in the state.
“I want to tell you that why people have not been paying tax in the past is that when money is brought to government we don’t see what it is used for.
“With what is happening today, I assure you that you will see that at the end of the year the internally generated revenue of Anambra State might be 10 times more than what it used to be.
“Why? Because people are seeing and feeling the impact of the money they pay.
“And when they see it, government will never need to ask anybody to pay tax, people will voluntarily do it.
“Again, the government needs to modify the way it collects its taxes.
“In days of yore, it used to be that government would go to traditional rulers and say, ‘this is the rate your people are going to pay, collect one, one naira’.
“Traditional rulers will collect these monies and pay into the government’s coffers.
“Today, traditional rulers have been pushed aside, politicians have taken over this and we don’t see the money anymore.
“So I want to say that if government goes the way it should go the people will collect money; people trust their traditional rulers,’’ he said.
Ilouno, who is also the traditional ruler of Ifitedunu in Dunukofia LGA, said that Gov. Willie Obiano’s purposeful governance had endeared him to the Anambra people.
He said, “Anambra will be a big reference point for other states very soon’’ with the level of Obiano’s performance and the people’s support.
It would be recalled that the Ilouno-led executive of Anambra Central Traditional Rulers’ Council was elected on April 17. (NAN)