Calabar is presently grinding to a halt as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN and tax agents of the Cross River State Government remain daggers drawn over the state government insistence that all tankers lifting products from any of the tank farms in Calabar must pay a mandatory fee of N15, 000 per truck, through the tax agents, recently empowered to collect taxes for the state government.
One IPMAN representative who has elected to remain anonymous informed www.calitown.com that “the problem is with these so called tax consultants who think they can just stampede us into paying all sorts of monies to them under very flimsy guise. The monies they have been collecting, have they been able to use it to fix the roads so that tankers can stop falling and spilling our products? Listen, for every litre of fuel that arrives these tank farms, the state government gets paid some money and if she thinks ingenuity is to come and carelessly tax us, then we will all shut our businesses and let government own and run filling stations”.
But anonymous government agents confided in www.calitown.com that government proposed that the amount be pegged after negotiations with IPMAN and allied organs, something the associations have refused to listen to. At the moment, all petrol stations in Calabar have refused to sell petroleum products to members of the public. Hordes of commuters can be seen at popular transit points and transport fares have immediately jumped up. We also gather that the lock down may last for one week, in the first instance, to force a backdown on government’s part, a tactic the state government does not look likely to fall for.
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