Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Covid-19 Palliatives: Tax Incentives Introduced To Save Informal Sector- Governor Okowa

By Victor Bieni, Asaba

Delta State Governor, His Excellency Sen. Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa has said that Delta State Government Introduced Tax incentives to lessen the tax burdens of Deltans in the informal sector as part of its commitment to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Governor spoke through the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu in a recent press briefing held yesterday being Wednesday, July 29, 2029 in Asaba, Delta State capital.

The Commissioner stated that the Governor had reeled out tax relief incentives to some categories of persons in the informal sector of the state economy.

According to him those expected to benefit from the state government’s gesture included private school owners, hoteliers, private hospital owners, potable water providers, publishers in the media industry, transport companies and owners of eateries among others.

Mr. Aniagwu pointed out that the state government had taken proactive steps in the past to mitigate the effects of COVID-19, which he said had led to the drop in the price of crude oil in the international market.

In his words: "Some of the steps taken by the state government included amongst others: Downward review of the state 2020 budget, provision of food items in form of palliatives for the less privileged in the state as well as the establishment of isolation and treatment centres for COVID-19 patients with a view to flattening the curve of the pandemic".

"World Bank offered the state government the sum of $4.5 million as grant for budget discipline, due process, transparency and accountability in its financial transactions".

Also speaking is the Chairman, Delta State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Monday Onyeme, who stated that the tax waiver could be enjoyed by any other entrepreneur in the informal sector through application, reiterating that the essence of the tax relief incentives was to keep businesses afloat to prevent loss of jobs".

He also added that, Delta State Government Introduced the Tax relief incentives to enable beneficiaries remain in business in this era of Coronavirus pandemic.

On his part, the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Barry Gbe said that the tax waiver would not in anyway affect the implementation of the 2020 budget of the state government that was reviewed downward from N395 billion to N282 billion, stressing that the incentive was part of government’s magnanimity towards making the informal sector to be economically vibrant and viable.

Dr. Gbe stated that 17 percent of the budget was to revamp the economy of the state while other percentages would cater for other sectors including road infrastructure.

Also, speaking during the briefing, the Commissioner for Finance, Sir Fidelis Tilije said that the state government has put machinery in place to stop double taxation, adding that it (the state government) created an enabling environment for businesses to thrive despite the threat occasioned by the corona virus pandemic.

Delta Finance Commissioner added that, pointed out that every step taken by the state government since the outbreak of COVID-19 was to ensure that the financial base of the state was not completely closed but meant to keep government business running.

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