Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state has ordered the immediate suspension of activities of the Commercial Transport Regulatory Agency (CTRA) for alleged sale of tickets to taxis, buses and tricycles in violation of the state’s anti-tax stance.
A press release made available to reporter at the weekend and signed by Mr Christian Ita, Chief Press Secretary to the governor said, “It has been observed that in spite of Governor Ben Ayade’s directives as well as the provisions of the Cross River State Tax Exemption Law, agents of the Commercial Transport Regulatory Agency (CTRA) were still engaged in the sale of tickets to bus, taxi, okada and tricycle operators in the state.”
“Consequently, His Excellency has ordered the immediate suspension of the activities of the agency in the state. In addition, His Excellency has directed security agents to arrest anybody found selling tickets or collecting any form of tax from those exempted from paying tax in the state.
“His Excellency will henceforth not tolerate the flagrant disregard of the tax exemption law which has been in place for over three years now. On no account will any criminal and mischievous attempt to undermine and short circuit the noble effort of the governor, be allowed.”
Ayade had three days earlier, inaugurated anti-tax agency, saying it was an injustice to tax the poor and all low income earners, and had frowned at activities of illegal tax consultants who he said impose unnecessary tax on the poor and vulnerable persons in the state.
Inaugurating the Anti-tax Agency, chaired by Bishop Emmah Isong, National Publicity Secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) with other gospel ministers as members, the Governor said; “I charge you to ensure that the poor masses of Cross River state and the small business owners do not come under the harsh hands of the desperate search for money by tax consultants.”