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Collection of tax from marine boat users not illegal — Uduaghan




The Delta State Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Vincent Uduaghan, has denied reports that his ministry is engaging in excess taxation of between N500 and N1500 as ticket levies and N50 per passenger for every boat trip.

Mr. Uduaghan in a telephone chat, said that the collection of tax from marine boat users in the state is not illegal, adding that the Delta District of Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria is fully involved in the Delta State marine tax implementation policy, revealing that series of meetings have been held to ensure compliance.

However, investigation by our correspondent revealed that the state government since 2013 to 2017 has spent about N9.1billion on construction of jetties, purchase of boats across the state to ease marine transport business; but the marine boat users over the years have not being paying tax to Delta State government thereby allegedly defrauding the state.

Also, following the recent State Executive Bill on registration/regulation of deep canoe/local boats that was passed into law, and law W1 of Delta State Government under the Ministry of Transport headed by Mr. Uduaghan, engaged a compliance team to begin collection of marine tax levies from marine boat users including bigger boats and vessels in the state.

When the compliance came on board in late 2017, they first of all discovered some fraud involving the use of the Delta State Government’s name to defraud the passengers by collecting monies worth over N61 million. The team also found out that marine boat users were not having proper manifest; they immediately produced a fresh manifest in an automated form with a charge of N500 per boat trip.

Meanwhile, the Delta District of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has dissociated itself from the said publication, just as it declared the Ferry Boat Transport Union of Ogbe-Ijaw (Market road Unit) illegal, saying that there is nothing like ferry boat union.

The union Chairman, Comr. Boro Ekotoro  said that the ferry boat union,market road unit is not a registered name which they are familiar with in the sector.

It was also gathered that over 20 jetties in the state are fully in compliance with the state government scheme, while it is alleged that it is only Ogbe-Ijaw jetty unit that has refused to comply, while other jetties within Ogbe-Ijaw unit are in compliance.

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