MY ADMINISTRATION IS SINGLE MINDED ABOUT EXECUTING PROGRAMMES THAT ENHANCE CITIZENS WELFARE – GOV. OTTI

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Abia State Governor Dr Alex Otti OFR says his administration is single minded about executing programmea and projects that enhance the welfare of the people and lessen their plight.

The Governor stated this when he met with a delegation of the Tax Appeal Tribunal, South East Zone led by its Chairman, Barr. Chukwuemeka Eze, Governor Otti said, the whole essence of governance is to give a better life to the people,

“We are very single minded about executing programmes and those programmes are solely for the welfare of our people and also to make this place investment friendly so that people would want to come, both local and foreign investors to look at us as a destination that is worthy of considering.”

Governor Otti added that already, his government has embarked on the building of roads, retrofitting of hospitals among others to make life more meaningful to the people,

“So when you see the roads that we are building, when you see us retrofitting hospitals and schools, clearing up drainages and disilting. These are all geared towards making life better for our people and making our place conducive to investment”

Governor Otti also stated that even though his government is keen on collecting taxes due it, its attitude to tax collection is different. He maintained that his government believes that enforcement of tax collection should be with a human face as against what existed in the state in the past, where touts held sway.

“We also felt that enforcement of tax collection should be with a human face instead of what used to be the case where all sorts of touts and miscreants are released on the roads to start chasing innocent travelers, motorists and Keke drivers running around all over the place.”

He said that to make things easier for the citizens, his government gave tax waiver to some categories of people at the inception of his government.

“When we came into office, we actually did suspend some category of taxes for a few months, some of them are still in force I believe.”

He added that his administration also introduced digital system in tax collection to make revenue generation seamless, “We also felt that people should have a very convenient way of paying their taxes from the comfort of their homes or offices using mobile devices like telephones, so these are some of the reforms that we have introduced.”

The State chief executive said he is committed to collaborating with the Tax Appeal Tribunal,

“You will be very useful to us by the time we go into full implementation although our attitude to tax is a bit different. I have in multiple fora defined taxation as government’s share of the prosperity it has created among the populace so even though we are trying to change the story of Abia, we are doing that without necessarily insisting on connecting all that is due us.”

Earlier, the Chairman, Tax Appeal Tribunal, South East Zone, Barr. Chukwuemeka Eze commended the tax reforms and revenue generation management of Governor Alex Otti and assured him that the Tax Appeal Tribunal can assist his administration in quick dispensation of tax disputes.

He said the Tax Appeal Tribunal is a tax dispute resolution centre established by the Federal Government in 2010 as part of her reform of the Nigerian tax system, adding that, the tribunal comprises lawyers, accountants and representatives of the organized private sector. He said the tribunal applies the principle of integrity and professionalism in discharging its duties.

The visit featured presentation of Tax Appeal Tribunal reports to the Governor by the Chairman while the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Ikechukwu Uwanna, Secretary to the State Government,Prof. Kenneth Kalu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Pastor Caleb Ajagba among other top government officials were present at the visit.