Association Of Table Water Producers Embark On Indefinite Strike In Edo 

Favour Percy-Idubor, Benin 

The  Edo State Chapter of Association Of Table Water Producers,  has embarked an indefinite strike over what they described as multiple taxation by the state government. 

The leadership of the Association after a meeting held at their secretariat  at 19 MM way Benin City,  directed its member to  withdrawal services to the general public,  pending when the issues are resolved. 

The Chairman of the association,  Michael Ogbebor said that the withdrawal of services is in protest against  imposition of (One Thousand Naira) daily on every water distribution vehicle tagged ‘haulage fee’, which they  see as multiple taxation.

According to Ogbebor,  ” Edo State Revenue Service has been coming up with different strategies to collect money from us. Firstly, they came up with Agricultural produce levy, we argued it and told them we don’t fall in that  category. They now came up  with mineral and steel,  we also told them we don’t fall in this  category.  That was when they came up with haulage fee and imposed it on us.

“They have put this haulage fee at #1000.00 per vehicle in a day.  This means that if you have upto 10 distribution vehicles on the road,  you pay #10,000.00 on daily basis.  This is unacceptable. Cost of production is very high. How do they expect us to cope?. 

“It will interest you to know that this is different from yearly levies that we pay to the state government.  Some pay #15,000.00 evey year. Some pay up to #50,000.00, some  far more, depending on the capacity of your factory. 

“In the  mist of this, you still encounter some persons come up at the middle of  the year to request for mid-year levy. The Ministry of Environment and Sustainability aslo do not give us breathing space It’sfrom one levy to another. The local government where your factory is situated is on our neck. Why can’t government put all these levies into one so that it doesn’t amount to multiple taxation?,”

The  association appealed to the state government to look into their plight with a view of reducing the burden on them. While assuring the general public that they will restore their services as soon as the issues are resolved. 

The strike action has triggered a spike in the prices of packaged water among Wholesalers and Retail shop owners in Benin Metropolis, depending on the sizes and the products. 

Some dealers  who had some products were seen selling a bag of packaged water between #350,00 and #450,00 depending on the product.

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