By Simon Ebegbulem
Edo State Government has reached an agreement with unions in the transport sector on a harmonized levy and dues across the state to avoid double taxation.
The agreement was reached, yesterday, after a meeting between the Deputy Governor, Mr. Philip Shaibu and representatives of the various unions in the transport sub-sector with the state chairman and secretary of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, in attendance.
Shaibu, who stated that the various unions will still retain the name of their respective bodies, noted that the harmonized law on taxes, rates and levies in the state was aimed at putting in place a very civil and humane way of revenue collection with a view to reducing the tax burden on the people.
He recalled: ‘’In the past, we had a situation where our people complained of double taxation and harassment by union members. But this administration intends to check those anomalies and create a harmonious working environment between the unions and the state government.’’
Shaibu further urged the unions to work with government in ensuring the success of the MoU, adding that it will legitimize one strong transport union across the state.
“If you are properly organized, you could attract investment from the private sector which will also help in the development of the state. The existence of the current seven unions is unacceptable to government and very disruptive in the process of revenue collection in the state,’’ he said.
Other stakeholders at the meeting included the state Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr JImoh Igiegbai, Deputy Chief of Staff, Government House, and Kingsley Ehigiamusoe, among others.