CR-IRS Seals Ika Ika Oqua Market

SONY DSCPerhaps to demonstrate the seriousness it attaches to the drive by the Cross River State government to shore up her internally generated revenue, the CRS Internal Revenue Service, for a greater part of today, completely shut down the Ika Ika Oqua market in Calabar Municipality, barring traders from carrying out any form of business activity, can reveal.

Between the hours of 10-11am when our reporter visited the market, papers with the inscription, “SEALED”, legibly inscribed on them were clipped on all entrances into and out of the market while traders were seen huddled in groups and discussing the IRS’s action. Etim Solomon Udo-Imo, Ika Ika Oqua market chapter chairman of the National Union of Shop and Distributive Employees, told that, “we came this morning and saw the market sealed and we were told that the IRS came and locked the market. The people came here and assessed us here and we complained that the assessment figures were too high and we appealed that they should give us figures we will be able to pay, but their action today is unfair”.

While the acting head of the IRS, Peter Oti, was unavailable for comments at press time, IRS sources who volunteered information maintain that “close to 100 percent of those traders in the market have not remitted their taxes since 2011 and the IRS has extensively interfaced with these traders and what has happened is a direct result of their zero compliance to paying the taxes that are an obligation”. It is expected that the action of the IRS will go a long way in making the traders understand that it is no more business as usual and that taxes must be paid as at when due.

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