The Anambra State government had given mandate to all the existing Market Chairmen across the State to collect tolls and remit to government account.
The call was made during an interaction with the Executive of Onitsha South Shop Traders Association.
The meeting, which was also attended by Chairmen and Secretaries of all existing markets, was held to identify challenges facing the markets in Anambra State with a view to bringing solutions to them.
Speaking at the meeting, the Commissioner for Trade, Commerce and Wealth Creation, Dr. Christian Mmadubuko, stated that it is the duty of the community to rid the markets of illegal toll collectors, adding that the state government has authorised leaders of different markets to take charge of revenue collection.
“I want to make it clear; Market Chairmen are now in charge of revenue collection and remittance into the State government account. The leaders should be able to ensure that these revenues collected from various jurisdictions through State Internal Revenue Service are registered in ANSSID.”
He noted that anybody seen collecting tolls without government approval will be dealt with, charging the Chairmen to be on ground.
The President-General of Onitsha South Shop Owners, Chief Eric Uwaoma, in his remark, lamented that some chairmen go beyond their areas of jurisdiction to collect levies, thereby causing problems in markets.
Also speaking, the Chairman of OgboMmanu Market, Chief Oliver Okeke, frowned at the rate at which illegal toll collectors chase away traders in the market, a development he noted, causes low sales.
He called on State government to set up special tax force that will monitor and ensure that there is conducive environment for traders to do their businesses.
In their various remarks, some of the Secretaries of the associations, including Mrs. Comfort Okonkwo and Mr. Chinedu Nnalue, complained of other ills being witnessed in the market, which, according to them, include printing of fake receipts. They called for measures to stop such activities in all the markets in Onitsha South.
Meanwhile, the President General, International Building Materials Market, Umuopku, Awka, UwakweUkaegbu, thanked the State government for her fight towards illegal revenue collection as well as proper steps taken to ensure accountability within major markets in Anambrs State.