The Traders Association in Kuje Area Council, FCT on Friday took to the streets to protest against the increase in taxation by the authorities.
A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who monitored the protest in Kuje reports that shops on major streets in the council were shut thus crippling economic activities.
Mr Uche Nwokedi, the acting chairman of the association, said members of the association were protesting against the hike in taxation from N3,000 to N36,000.
Nwokedi said the protest was also to express the association’s displeasure with the use of force and touts by the consultant engaged by the Area Council to collect the taxes.
He said some members of the association were on Thursday taken to court by the consultant for failure to pay what the traders called ‘outrageous tax’.
He said the use of the court to introduce higher taxes instead of dialogue was not in the best interest of the traders and the council.
“Most of us, including those taken to court paid our taxes since January and we have our receipts with us.
“The consultant has not engaged us before coming up with these outrageous taxes and we will resist it,” he said.
Alhaji Abdullahi Galadima, Chairman, Kuje Area Council, while addressing the protesters said the council was unaware that some members of the association were taken to court by the consultant.
He expressed dismay at the development adding that the consultant had not been officially engaged to collect taxes on behalf of the council.
“The consultant approached us when we advertised and we only had an oral agreement with him to go out and see how he could convince and dialogue with the people to pay their taxes.
“Our agreement with him is on temporary basis; he has not been fully engaged by the council because no document has been given to him.
“This administration is committed to the protection of the rights of all residents.
“So, issues like this, engagements and town hall meetings, are what is needed,” he said.
The council chairman, who ordered the withdrawal of the cases from the court, urged the traders to be calm and go about their normal businesses.
He added that the consultant had been warned against the use of force and touts to collect revenue.