Commentary, OpEd

Stop paying corrupt tax collectors illegal taxes

By Joseph Akim Gordon


Billions of oil and non-oil revenues, where has it gone? We understand the organized forces are the main beneficiaries but this does not justify this claim, because the army is poorly paid as far as salaries are concerned. If there was a release of annual audit report that should have explained to the citizens how their money was utilized, why that is there is no annual audit report, the absence of audit report raises suspicion. All over the world the audit reports clarify how funds have been used over the years.  No one will have doubt, because we have a professional auditor general and qualified staff that should have rendered annual reports to ensure that there is accountability and transparency.

My main point of discussion is why we have allowed illegal taxes imposed on the consumers; we have many road blocks where traders are forced to pay more taxes on main roads mounted by people in uniform. Why this is continuously happening although the authorities are well aware and issued directives to stop these illegal taxes, but the government directives were ignored and now the poor consumers are the ones paying the prices, this explains why we are paying heavily, the traders will always pass the extra or illegal taxes to the consumers. This situation is also repeated in the markets despite the fact that the traders pay annually for trading licenses. I am sure city council is aware of these wrong practices of imposing illegal taxes to the traders and put on blind eye, not to punish the wrong doers. One would therefore assume that there might be a network that is why nobody is apprehended in these illegal dealings.

Land fee in the residential areas paid despite the fact that there are no services if you do not provide services in these areas why do you collect taxes; the roads in residential areas are very poor. No water services, insecurity in some of the areas. The main question is that why do you collect taxes when you do not provide services to these areas?

The dollar has now increased its strength as result the prices in the market has doubled up causing suffering to the poor now as such the market remained expensive; the fact is that the traders will add all the illegal taxes on the cost of the commodities so it is the consumers who are now being punished. The authority must do something the consumers can no longer afford the high market prices, this situation for a person doing business is affordable because the business people go along with market if the prices go up or come down the business people keep pace with market situation.  While for Government salary/wage earners whose salaries have remain the same for many years very much reducing the purchasing power of Government employees.  They are suffering in silence but others have resorted to corruption and criminality to make two ends meet. In reality is that, since we can no long control the rate of inflation, for this matter for Government must review the salaries/wages of its employees annually to match the inflation rate. Many Govt. employees have lost interest of their jobs simply because it cannot meet the basic food and other necessity of life. There is need Govt. to take appropriate measures and mechanism to stop illegal forms of taxes that have distorted the market. We must also note that institutionalized imposition of illegal taxes is on rise. When we the citizens should avoid paying bribe for the traffic police or any other institutions that demand payment of bribe and when we stand firm gradually those who often demand payment of bribe will think twice in demanding of a bribe from the people. Let us become a bribe and corruption free country.

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