Cross River abolishes taxes for low income earners
• State govt to renovate 196 healthcare centres
• Buhari, Gov Ayade in closed-door meeting
Cross River State has announced the abolition of all forms of taxation for low-income earners.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor and Senior Special Assistant Media, Mr. Christian Ita yesterday said those affected by the tax exemption are people earning below N50, 000 monthly, taxi, tricycle, wheel barrows, and motor cycle operators as well as petty traders and hoteliers.
He said Governor Ben Ayade, who gave the order after signing the 2017 appropriation bill of N707 billion, had reiterated the need to provide some economic reliefs to low income earners in the state with regards to taxes.
Ayade warned: “I am sounding the last warning that henceforth I don’t want to hear anyone who earns less than N50, 000 a month being taxed in any form in the state.
According to the governor, “In the same vein, I don’t want to see a hotel that is struggling to survive with challenges of diesels being chased by government officials over taxes. I have warned anybody, who is still collecting money from these people to stop forthwith…I have seen poverty in my personal life and I know what that small N2, 000 means to them.”
The state government is also planning to renovate 196 primary healthcare centres (PHC) in the state.
The Director General of the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (PHDA), Dr. Beta Edu said the government planned to renovate at least 50 health centres in 50 wards out of the 196 wards. “We had done five last year.”
According to Edu, “We want to work on 50 this year. Not like we are building new ones, but we are renovating, equipping and recruiting the right mix of staff and ensuring they can offer different services to our people to ensure that the general population remains healthy and our life span is increased. That is basically what we would be doing this year.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Ayade met for about 40 minutes at the Presidential Villa yesterday.
Ayade, decked in a white Niger Delta shirt and a black trouser arrived the villa at about 1 p.m clutching a file.
The Guardian learnt that the governor’s visit to the villa is not unconnected with the deep seaport project of his government among other issues.
The proposed Bakassi deep seaport and the 260 kilometre super highway are estimated to cost about N700 billion.